Dane County leaders recognize that Climate Change is happening in our region right now but it will take everyone to reduce county-wide emissions.

In 2017 when President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, Dane County, along with 280 cities and counties, 10 states, and hundreds of organizations promised to pursue the goals of the agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by declaring, “We are still in.” In fact, Dane County had already reduced its internal greenhouse emissions by 26% between 2007 and 2015.

Next, Dane County will launch an ambitious economy-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP) that aims to cut all county-wide emissions by 50% by 2030 and to eliminate emissions by 2050. The CAP will be issued in early 2020 and will set a path for reducing emissions associated with energy use, buildings, transportation, water, forestry, and agriculture. Hundreds of public and private stakeholders provided input into creating the CAP, and even more folks will be involved in the implementation.

Join the Dane County Community Working Group to support Dane County’s efforts to implement its Climate Action Plan.

Your involvement is critically needed at many levels to implement the CAP. For example:

  • Advocates are needed to monitor progress on the CAP’s goals and to help advocate for the investments required to cut our emissions in half by 2030. This might involve attending committee meetings or making a phone call or sending an email to your county supervisor.
  • The CAP is broad and comprehensive, so Dane County’s Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC) will have to set priorities. We need volunteers to advocate for priorities that maximize emission reductions.
  • Because the CAP addresses both county operations and everything else (business emissions, household emissions, farm emissions), we see an opportunity to inform citizens about the CAP and to encourage more participation in these efforts.
  • Help us coordinate with other Working Groups where efforts are aligned — for example, in promoting active transportation options (biking, etc.) between Dane County communities.

Click here to indicate your interest in joining the Dane County Community Working Group.

Thank you,

Pat Anderson, leader, Dane County Community Working Group

In February 2019, members of the Fitchburg Common Council approved a Clean Energy Resolution. Hats off to all alders for making it a unanimous vote!

Now it’s time to keep pushing so that Fitchburg boards, commissions, and the City Council take necessary steps to meet commitments spelled out in the resolution. There are building and construction decisions, solar installations, city fleet purchases, street lighting, and other city functions to consider moving forward.

That’s why 350 Madison has established the Community Climate Solutions Team (CCST) and its Fitchburg Working Group. We are a team of informed, determined citizens who are willing to advocate for the best clean energy decisions by the good people who represent us in Fitchburg city government.

Are you ready to join our Fitchburg Working Group? Are you willing to:

  • Attend occasional Fitchburg board or commission meetings when a clean energy issue is considered?
  • Write emails to your elected or appointed city representatives?
  • Join with other members of 350 Madison’s CCST to map common clean energy strategies with residents of other Madison area communities?

One example of an upcoming issue is consideration in early 2020 by the Fitchburg Plan Commission of a proposal by solar developer EDF to build a 20 megawatt solar farm. This will be on the O’Brien Farm property at the corner of Seminole Highway and Lacy Road. Sounds like a clean energy win for our community, doesn’t it?

If such a solar development is a good idea for our citizens and our planet, we want to be at the meetings where decisions are made. We also want to be at other relevant Fitchburg public meetings, to support good clean energy ideas and to oppose bad ideas.

If you are a supporter of civic engagement and willing to join us as a member of the CCST’s Fitchburg Working Group, please join the CCST mailing list by clicking here and indicate that you want to participate in Fitchburg Working Group.

Thank you,

Judy Stadler, leader Fitchburg Community Working Group

The Middleton Community Working Group (CWG) strategic vision seeks volunteers to help with various roles and tasks. If you live in Middleton and have skills and interest in any of these, please let us know. You can contact Kermit Hovey or Bob Owen.

These roles and tasks include:

  • Alder Liaison — We hope to find at least one volunteer in each Middleton alder district to develop ongoing communication with their alder about the importance of addressing climate change locally, developing clean energy, and more.
  • Public Commenters / Meeting Monitors — The council and certain other Middleton committees provide for public comments, which can allow us to make 3-minute statements about climate action and local developments to help increase awareness and move the city toward important climate action. As a meeting monitor, you would also monitor meetings for relevant climate agenda to help keep our CWG aware.
  • Pleasant View Golf Course Green Team — This team is pursuing getting the municipal golf course to adopt various low-carbon technologies and policies, including a solar installation and heat pumps. If you are a user of the course already, all the better.
  • General Action and Coordination — Our CWG needs more people to be part of regular ongoing planning and implementation efforts to help steer our work and execute plans.

If you are a supporter of civic engagement and willing to join us as a member of the CCST’s Middleton Working Group, please join the CCST mailing list by clicking here and indicate that you want to participate in the Middleton Working Group.

Thank you,

Kermit Hovey and Bob Owen, co-leaders, Middleton Community Working Group

In February 2019, members of the Monona Common Council approved a Clean Energy Resolution. Hats off to all alders for making it a unanimous vote! Now it’s time to keep pushing so that Monona’s boards and commissions take necessary steps to meet commitments spelled out in the resolution. There are building and construction decisions, solar installations, city fleet purchases, street lighting, and other city functions to consider moving forward.

That’s why 350 Madison has established the Community Climate Solutions Team (CCST), and its Monona Working Group. We are a team of informed, determined citizens who are willing to advocate for the best clean energy decisions by the good people who represent us in Monona city government.

Are you ready to join our Monona Working Group? Are you willing to:

  • Attend occasional Monona board or commission meetings when a clean energy issue is considered?
  • Write emails to your elected or appointed city representatives?
  • Join with other members of 350 Madison’s CCST to map common clean energy strategies with residents of other Madison area communities?

If you are a supporter of civic engagement and willing to join us as a member of the CCST’s Monona Working Group, please join the CCST mailing by clicking here and indicate that you want to participate in Monona Working Group.

Thank you,

Beth Esser, leader, Monona Community Working Group

The City of Madison has an active Sustainability Madison Committee (SMC), supported by a full-time Sustainability Program Coordinator. The SMC was the impetus behind the comprehensive sustainability plan that the Common Council approved in 2011, and its plan to achieve 100% renewable energy and zero net carbon for city operations, approved in late 2018. The SMC and the city have moved the needle on many of their stated goals over the last few years.

That said, all the city leaders who currently are involved in these sustainability plans and with whom we have consulted have made clear that they need to hear citizens’ voices. There is much to be done, and we citizens can have a significant positive impact on helping the city achieve its goals for city operations and also (importantly) helping the whole city reduce its use of fossil fuels and achieve other goals critical to the welfare of the people and other organisms that live in this city.

Please join us in helping Madison become a leader in sustainable living. Whether you have an hour a month or several hours a week that you can devote, your participation is welcome.

If you have very limited time to offer, those of us participating in organizing the Madison Community Working Group will, from time to time, ask you to present strategically chosen questions, requests, and research-based information to Madison city staff and elected officials via phone, via email, or in person at a community meeting. If you can offer more time, we will ask you to participate in research and planning. All you have to do at this time is join our mailing list by clicking here, indicating that you want to participate in the Madison Community Working Group.

Thank you,

Susan Millar, leader, Madison Community Working Group

Overall, there is very strong work under way at UW–Madison around climate change and sustainability. That said, there are significant opportunities for the UW–Madison Community Working Group to help encourage and push this work forward.

The greatest strengths at UW–Madison are in research and education, including:

  • The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies;
  • SAGE (Center on Sustainability and the Global Environment), which is part of the Nelson Institute;
  • The Center for Climatic Research;
  • A growing climate focus in the La Follette School of Public Affairs;
  • A newly revitalized WICCI (Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts), which is coordinated between UW and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR);
  • Research, education, and service on climate and sustainability under way in other academic units such as the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), and the School of Business.

On the organizational level, the Office of Sustainability (OS) is leading the way. OS operates in both research and education and the improvement of campus facilities. It also recently led the STARS rating process of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), resulting in an award of silver status. However, at this time, there does not appear to be a comprehensive campus climate action plan (CAP) to achieve a higher STARS rating.

Goals for our CWG include both helping to highlight work that is already under way and helping to enable new campaigns such as:

  • Following up on the STARS process and data generation with meaningful campus-wide action or a climate action plan process;
  • Encouraging the university leadership to join the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which involves a public pledge to support comprehensive climate action across all units;
  • Revisiting the campaign to divest from fossil fuels, which has been spreading worldwide since an initial unsuccessful effort in 2014–2015.

To get involved, contact Mark Johnson or click here and indicate your interest.

Do you want your local community to be part of this effort?

Do you think now is the time to help your community’s staff, boards, commissions, and council take necessary steps to establish and meet urgently needed climate action commitments? There are building and construction decisions, solar installations, city fleet purchases, street lighting, and other city functions to consider moving forward. We believe your help, encouragement, and action can make a difference.

That’s why 350 Madison has established the Community Climate Solutions Team (CCST) and its multiple Community Working Groups. We would be delighted if you joined our team of informed, determined citizens to advocate for the best clean energy and climate action decisions in your community.

If you are a supporter of civic engagement and willing to join us as a member of CCST’s next new Community Working Group, please join the CCST mailing list by clicking here and indicate what new community working group you would like to participate in.

Thank you!
Kermit Hovey, Kathy Kuntz, and Susan Millar, CCST co-leads

Tar Sands

The Tar Sands Campaign is fighting Enbridge tar sands pipelines in WI. Our aims are to block expansion of Line 61 and to halt plans for an adjacent Line 66. We support efforts led by those most impacted, including tribes, landowners, and affected community members.

Divest & Defund

The Divest & Defund Team works to convince institutions that investments in fossil fuels are not only ethically and fiscally irresponsible, but are literally wrecking the planet we call home—all for profit. We are currently focusing on banks that fund pipeline projects.

Climate Solutions

Community Climate Solutions focuses on making change across Dane County, targeting both systems and individual levels. We assist local governments to achieve climate goals. We broaden and deepen citizen climate crisis awareness and action.

Support Us!

Please help us fight to protect a livable world for you and your family! We appreciate your financial contribution of any size. Your support helps us to carry on our work. Thank you for giving!