Climate forum showcases alumni, diversity of voices

Four La Follette School alumni will be featured as panelists at the La Follette Forum: Climate Policy on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The daylong conference also brings a diversity of voices, including youth, to one of the most important issues across the globe.

The Climate Policy Forum is free; however, registration is required. In-person, remote, and hybrid participation options are available. In-person registration closes Tuesday, September 28

Pamela Ritger (MIPA, JD ’13), Randy Romanski (MA ’95), Erick Shambarger (MPA ’02), and Rebecca Webster (MPA, JD ’03) are among the numerous highly regarded speakers, who will address the following topics:

  • National & international policy
  • State & local climate policy
  • Communication & youth mobilization
  • Utilities, regulation, & electricity
  • Agriculture & negative emissions
  • Climate science, risk, & resilience

Ritger, Milwaukee program director and staff attorney for Clean Wisconsin, and Shambarger, director of sustainability for the City of Milwaukee, will serve on the State & Local Policy panel. They will discuss the state of climate policy in Wisconsin and opportunities for the future with August Ball of Cream City Conservation. Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes will moderate.

Romanski, secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and Webster, an assistant professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota–Duluth, will serve on the Agriculture & Negative Emissions panel. The will be joined by Thea Whitman of UW–Madison’s Department of Soil Science, and Gary Besaw of the Menominee Nation will moderate.

Panelists for the Communication & Youth Mobilization session are Benji Backer, founder, American Conservation Coalition; Nada Elmikashfi, chief of staff, Wisconsin State Rep. Francesca Hong; and Stephanie Salgado, political science and environmental studies major, UW–Madison. James Mills, an author, instructor, photographer, and filmmaker, will moderate.

La Follette School Professor Greg Nemet and Assistant Professor Morgan Edwards are co-chairing the policy forum, which is funded by the Kohl Initiative.