Climate Action in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Montana

We have been working with other nonprofit organizations, adaptation practitioners, and representatives from the federal government to develop a nationwide network of climate resilience services available to all communities. In preparation for this type of system, we are studying what is already happening on the ground across the US. Good news! We’re finding a lot of action underway. Check out North Carolina, Montana, and Wisconsin:

North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper signed a sweeping climate commitment in 2018, which has resulted in a Climate Resilience Plan for the state. That plan is now being implemented by the Resilient Communities Program, which supports local governments in reaching zero emissions and adapting to their climate challenges. The University of NC and NC State University are on board, as are nonprofits across the state. North Carolina is getting ready!

Montana

Montana’s previous Governor, Steve Bullock, oversaw the creation of a robust climate plan and implemented mitigation, adaptation and climate equity programs interdepartmentally across the state government, ready to hand off to the new governor. Bullock had also joined the US Climate Alliance – an alliance of Governors committed to the Paris Agreement. The newly elected governor, Greg Gianforte, has recently withdrawn from the Alliance and is pledging to roll back environmental regulations.

Localities across the state are moving forward anyway. Missoula, Bozeman, Whitefish, and Helena all have climate action plans underway. ONE Montana, a state nonprofit, is bringing rural and urban communities together in shared climate effort. The universities are on board and even the state Chamber of Commerce is in the game. So, whether Governor Gianforte supports the work or not, Montana is moving ahead with mitigation and adaptation efforts at the local level.

Wisconsin

Governor Tony Evers jumped on climate action very quickly following his election in 2019. His Executive Orders #52 and #38 have moved clean energy forward in alignment with the Paris Agreement, and also address adaptation and climate justice. His administration did an inventory of existing climate work in the state, called Climate Leadership, to establish his baseline in 2019.

The Climate Leadership study found 148 communities had taken the Energy Independent 25×25 Pledge, 11 Mayors had joined Climate Mayors, 10 cities had sustainability commissions, 10 universities are climate committed, 8 cities are developing renewable energy plans, 3 cities + Dane County had signed onto the We Are Still In declaration and 4 counties had created individual programs encompassing renewable energy, carbon neutrality, green jobs, and repair of racial and economic inequities. They have a great start and are now building momentum with Governor Evers’ strong support.

What else is happening?

If we missed anything or you have more information about state-specific climate action you want us to be aware of, please let us know at climate-ready@geosinstitute.org

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