Policy Options to Reduce Wisconsin’s Contribution to Global Warming

Posted on January 24, 2008. Filed under: Global Warming |

From a report by Wisconsin Environment: 

Wisconsin could reduce its contribution to global warming much further by adopting 13 key policy strategies. There are numerous tools available to Wisconsin to reduce global warming pollution. The following policies can help the state reduce carbon dioxide emissions from energy use.

1. Adopt the Clean Cars Program. The Clean Cars Program will impose limits on vehicle carbon dioxide emissions and offer Wisconsinites a greater selection of hybrid-electric vehicles.

2. Require energy-saving replacement tires. By requiring the sale of energy-saving replacement tires, Wisconsin can improve vehicle efficiency without negatively affecting safety.

3. Create mileage-based automobile insurance. Automobile insurers should be required to offer insurance with rates based on the amount traveled. This will reward those who drive less and potentially reduce accidents.

4. Reduce the number of automobile commutes. Large employers should be required to develop programs to discourage single-passenger commuting and provide employees with more transportation choices to cut single-occupant vehicle commutes by 40 percent by 2020.

5. Reduce the growth in vehicle miles traveled. Wisconsin should invest in transit and reduce sprawling development to stop the per capita growth in vehicle miles traveled by cars and light trucks on Wisconsin’s highways.

6. Adopt a low-carbon fuel standard. A portion of motor fuel sold in Wisconsin should come from sources with lower life-cycle emissions than gasoline or diesel to reduce the carbon intensity of the fuel mix by 10 percent by 2020.

7. Strengthen building energy codes. Stronger energy codes for residential and commercial buildings would reduce energy use and thus global warming pollution.

8. Adopt appliance efficiency standards. Wisconsin should adopt energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment.

9. Increase investments in energy efficiency. Investing more in energy efficiency would reduce electricity use by 0.7 percent and natural gas use by 0.4 percent annually.

10. Encourage combined heat and power. Wisconsin has the potential for 1,100 MW more of combined heat and power technology, which allows commercial and industrial facilities to use the same energy to generate both electricity and useful heat.

11. Strengthen the renewable electricity standard. Wisconsin should increase its existing renewable electricity standard to require that 20 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

12. Prevent expansion of coal-fired power plants. Wisconsin can avoid major projected increases in emissions by preventing the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

13. Reduce government energy use. Wisconsin should increase the energy efficiency of state government buildings, get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015, and reduce emissions from vehicles by 30 percent.

Adoption of these strategies would reduce global warming pollution while improving Wisconsin’s energy efficiency. By 2020, Wisconsin’s emissions of carbon dioxide would be approximately 30 percent below projected 2020 levels and 23 percent below 2006 levels.


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