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Climate Forward Report

In mid-2012 the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters initiated a project to examine Wisconsin’s climate and energy future. The Wisconsin Academy has a significant history of gathering thoughtful leaders from multiple perspectives to provide insight and shared wisdom on major challenges that affect our state and the world.

Global climate change, driven by increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, is one of the most serious social, economic, and environmental challenges of our time; it is intimately coupled with the challenge of attaining clean and sustainable energy sources that minimize the release of carbon dioxide. These are global, national, and Wisconsin challenges. Given Wisconsin’s wealth of scientific and technical capacity in these areas, its rich conservation heritage, and the anticipated impacts of climate change on Wisconsin life, we wanted to stimulate more public dialogue on this topic and spark innovative solutions.

To this end, we developed a new tool to provide an assessment of where we are today and a practical vision for how we can build on Wisconsin values and our citizens’ creativity and imagination to shape a future that is good for our environment and our economy. This tool is a report called Climate Forward: A New Road Map for Wisconsin’s Climate and Energy Future, published by the Academy in 2014.

In 2015, we took core content from the report and developed this interactive web portal; in 2017 we issued an update that highlights overarching trends on energy and climate change in our state since the publication of our comprehensive 2014 report, This platform provides an overview of our Climate Forward Report and offers additional resources for businesses, policy-makers, municipal and local governments, and community leaders who wish to learn more about Wisconsin's potential for a clean energy future. Through our Profiles, you will have the opportunity to learn from those businesses, organizations, and local governments already leading the way in Wisconsin. Our Strategies by Sector tab provides information on the status of—and pathways forward for—energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation, natural carbon storage, and leadership in our state. Explore the Options for Action tab for a complete list of specific actions that advance a healthier Wisconsin.

What Wisconsin do you want to see in 20, 50, 100 years? What insights do you have? E-mail Environmental Initiatives Staff to share your ideas and provide suggestions for our web portal.


Book and web portal designed by Huston Design, Madison.

Copyright © 2014 by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. This report is intended for educational purposes only and can be reproduced in part or whole with proper acknowledgement of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. Unless otherwise noted, all websites referenced were accessed in May 2014.

The Climate Forward Report and web portal are made possible by a generous grant from the Sally Mead Hands Foundation. We also wish to extend our appreciation for the in-kind donation of staff hours, meeting space, travel expenses, videography, and other services and resources contributed by the many participating organizations and institutions from which our steering committee members, advisors, reviewers, and volunteers were drawn. Thank you all for your time and effort.


Wisconsin Academy Contributors

Jane Elder
Executive Director

Meg Domroese
Initiatives Director (2012-2014)

Meredith Keller
Initiatives Director (2014-present)

Jason A. Smith
Communications Director

Jean Lang
Copy Editor

Xin Wang
Editorial Assistant

Millard Susman
Advisor and Academy Board President Emeritus

James W. Perry
Advisor and Academy Board Secretary

Richard Burgess
Advisor and Academy Vice President of Sciences

Art Harrington
Advisor and Academy Board Member


Ash Anandanarayanan
Transportation Analyst, RE-AMP/1000 Friends of Wisconsin

Peter Bakken
Executive Director, Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light
Coordinator for Public Policy, Wisconsin Council of Churches

Kelly D. Cain
Director, St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development
Professor, Environmental Science & Management, UW–River Falls

Tom Eggert
Founder and Executive Director, Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council

Emily Eggleston
Urban Agriculture Extension Educator, Purdue University
Former editorial assistant of Wisconsin People & Ideas, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters

Brenna Holzhauer
Director of Exhibits and Digital Curricula, Aldo Leopold Nature Center and Nature Net: the Environmental Learning Network

John Imes
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Wisconsin Environmental Initiative

Peter Kilde
Executive Director, West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency Inc. (West CAP)

Kathy Kuntz
Executive Director, Cool Choices

Michelle Miller
Associate Director, UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

Mary Woolsey Schlaefer
President and CEO, Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation

Keith Reopelle
Senior Policy Director, Clean Wisconsin

Lissa Schneider-Rebozo
URSCA Director and Associate Professor of English, Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity, UW–River Falls

Richard D. Stewart
Chair, Department of Business and Economics, UW–Superior
Director, Transportation and Logistics Research Center, UW–Superior
Co-Director, Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute, UW–Superior

Stanley A. Temple
Beers-Bascom Professor Emeritus in Conservation, University of Wisconsin
Senior Fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation

Roy Thilly
WPPI Energy (retired)
Cool Choices
Gathering Waters
US Department of Energy Electric Advisory Committee

Steve Viscelli
Senior Associate, Center on Wisconsin Strategy

Don Wichert
Advisor, RENEW Wisconsin
Eudai Energy, LLC

Mary F. Wright
Associate Professor of Literacy Education, UW–River Falls


Oscar Bloch
Program Evaluation Consultant and Volunteer, Citizen’s Climate Lobby,

Frank Greb
President, Energy Center of Wisconsin

Steve Hiniker
Executive Director, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin

Sally Kefer
Community Climate Adaptation, Land Use Team Leader, WI Department of Natural Resources (retired)

Paul Linzmeyer
Sustainability Leader, ThedaCare

Pam Porter
Principal, P Squared Group

Bruce Speight
Director, WISPIRG

Shahla Werner
Chapter Director, Sierra Club

UW–Madison Student Interns

Luke Albers – Green Bay Packaging (not in report)

Kris Canto – MillerCoors

Chris Hoffman – Emerald Dairy

Steph Veazie – Gundersen Health System


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Wisconsin Academy Offices 
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery 
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25