Gov. Tony Evers’ first budget established climate change as a priority for his administration. His second is shot through with policy and spending initiatives to address it.
The budget proposal includes dozens of measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting clean energy and helping the state brace for increasingly frequent and more severe weather.
Many are in response to recommendations developed last year by a special task force, and most are likely to meet resistance in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
“The climate crisis is taking an undeniable toll on folks across our state,” Evers said in his address to the Legislature. “Every Wisconsinite — whether they live in the Driftless, the Central Sands, or the Northwoods, or in the heart of our urban areas — has experienced the effects of climate change. And communities of color, low-income Wisconsinites and our farmers have been among those most disproportionately affected.”
Evers called for $30 million in funding to address increasingly frequent and severe flooding, including money to bolster infrastructure.
His budget would require utility regulators to consider the economic and health impacts of global warming when approving new projects and to deliver biennial reports on the social costs of carbon while also setting aside money to study the feasibility of a “carbon market,” which could be used to pay farmers for storing carbon in the ground.
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