Executive Order 38



Relating to Clean Energy in Wisconsin
Issued by Governor Tony Evers on August 16, 2019

WHEREAS, climate change poses a serious threat to Wisconsin's natural resources, public health, communities, tourism, and economy;

WHEREAS, past research by the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts has shown that by the middle of the century, statewide average annual temperatures are likely to warm by 6 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit, and a recent  report from the Union of Concerned Scientists suggests  that under  the current trajectory,  by 2050 Wisconsin could see two weeks per year of dangerous heat - with heat indexes above 100 degrees - analogous to the current climate in states such as Alabama and South Carolina;

WHEREAS, increasing instances of extreme weather events like flooding are devastating Wisconsin communities. Research by the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts shows that climate change is likely to cause a general increase in precipitation across the state, with extended dry periods during the summer and flooding during periods of heavy rain;

WHEREAS, climate change poses significant threats to communities that lack the resources and geographic mobility to adapt to changes, including pronounced threats to the cultural resources, economic vitality, and human health of Native Nations;

WHEREAS, protection of Wisconsin's iconic agricultural, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities remains critical to our heritage, quality of life, economy, and ability to attract and retain businesses in diverse industries;

WHEREAS, the air emissions released as a result of fossil fuel combustion cause a wide variety of adverse health impacts including asthma attacks,  pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, chronic and acute bronchitis, lower respiratory ailments, upper respiratory ailments, heart attacks, neurological deficits, immune system deficits, and cancer;

WHEREAS, Wisconsin sends, on average, more than $12 billion out of the state each year to import fossil fuels including coal, natural gas, and petroleum;

WHEREAS, a transition to a clean energy economy will generate thousands of family-supporting jobs;

WHEREAS, Wisconsin is a member of the United States Climate Alliance and has pledged to support the carbon reduction  goals of the  2015 Paris Climate Accord;  and

WHEREAS, our state has a responsibility to current and future generations of Wisconsinites to act to prevent continuing damage to our climate and to invest in solutions that help to mitigate the changes that have already occurred.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, TONY EVERS, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State, hereby:

1. Order the Department of Administration to create the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy.
2. The Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy shall be charged with the following:
a. In partnership with other state agencies and state utilities, achieve a goal of ensuring all electricity consumed within the State of Wisconsin is 100 percent carbon-free by 2050.
b. Ensure the State of Wisconsin is fulfilling the carbon reduction goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
c. Develop a clean energy plan to assist the State of Wisconsin in adapting to and mitigating the harm from climate change by using clean energy resources and technology. The Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy shall coordinate with the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, other state agencies, Native Nations, local governments, utilities, businesses, and other stakeholders to develop and implement the clean energy plan.
d.  Promote clean energy workforce training, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin Technical College System, private and non-profit workforce development programs and labor organizations, and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
e. Foster innovation, research, and business development within the renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainability sectors.
f. Develop energy efficiency, sustainability and renewable energy standards for all new and existing state facilities, office buildings, and complexes.​