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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday spoke to both houses of the state Legislature and other officials for his first State of the State address.

Wisconsin will join a national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pollution, Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday.

Evers is the 21st governor to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan — but mostly Democratic — group of governors committed to implementing policies to combat climate change in accordance with the Paris climate accord. 

By joining the coalition, governors commit to implement policies with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, reducing carbon pollution and promoting clean energy. The governors will track and share their progress with other states and countries.

"It’s a new day in Wisconsin and it’s time to lead our state in a new direction where we embrace science, where we discuss the very real implications of climate change, where we work to find solutions, and where we invest in renewable energy," Evers said in a statement. "By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, we will have support in demonstrating that we can take climate action while growing our economy at the same time."

Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes said they will "explore new energy saving goals for state agencies, increasing the use of solar power in Wisconsin, and helping businesses and communities make smart energy choices."

Barnes also pledged to focus on "better understanding how climate change is disproportionately affecting communities of color and how it’s impacting our farmers and the most rural parts of our state."

The U.S. Climate Alliance was formed in June 2017 following President Donald Trump's announcement that he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement

The coalition has 21 members including Wisconsin, three of whom are Republicans.

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Jessie Opoien covers state government and politics for the Capital Times. She joined the Cap Times in 2013 and has also covered Madison life, race relations, culture and music. She has also covered education and politics for the Oshkosh Northwestern.

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