Evers creates new office to reach carbon-free goal by 2050

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Tony Evers is creating a new office to help achieve his goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

Evers included the goal in his state budget in March. Republicans on the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee erased the proposal from the final spending plan.

The governor issued an executive order Friday to create the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy within the state Department of Administration.

The order requires the office to achieve his 100% carbon-free goal. Evers clarified to reporters Friday that the order is not a mandate on utilities.

The order also calls for the state to follow carbon reduction goals in the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

Evers announced in February that Wisconsin was joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, a group of mostly Democratic governors committed to implementing the accord.

Evers says the new office "will promote the development and use of clean, renewable energy across the state of Wisconsin, as well as advancing innovative, sustainable solutions that improve the state's economy, the environment, and also generates family supporting jobs."

A survey for the Clean Energy Trust found clean energy supports 76,000 jobs in Wisconsin, including 1,786 new jobs created last year. Two-thirds are in the field of energy-efficiency; less than 8% are in renewable energy.

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