Image text reads, "La Follette Forum: Climate Policy"

State & Local Policy

Illustration of the State of Wisconsin.

Varsity Hall III
2:30 – 3:45 p.m.  |  Breakout Session 3B

Tackling the climate crisis will require action at all levels of government. Cities and states across the U.S. are setting increasingly ambitious climate goals. Panelists discussed the state of climate policy in Wisconsin and opportunities for the future.

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Key Takeaways

  • The city of Milwaukee can be a model for change at the state level. Milwaukee has moved towards green infrastructure, moved to reduce emissions, focused on energy efficiency, and brought together the experts from many different disciplines (academia, utilities, and renewable energy) to address climate change and improve communities. 
  • Reducing upfront costs to consumers will lead to deeper political support for renewable energy policies. A large barrier to renewable energy is the high cost to consumers, which leads to a continued reliance on fossil fuels. 
  • Jobs must be central in state and local policy related to climate change and green technology. What are the tangible benefits? How many jobs will be created? Are there equitable jobs?
  • New policy should focus on equitable outcomes. Ensuring that certain neighborhoods are not exposed to emissions at a higher rate or face more health issues due to climate change.


August Ball

Founder, Cream City Conservation

Pamela Ritger

Milwaukee Program Director & Staff Attorney, Clean Wisconsin

Erick Shambarger

Director of Environmental Sustainability for the City of Milwaukee


Mandela Barnes

Lieutenant Governor, State of Wisconsin