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Climate: Most candidates for Madison council voice support for zero-carbon goal

Climate: Most candidates for Madison council voice support for zero-carbon goal

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Voters in most Madison City Council districts will have at least one climate advocate to choose from in the April election.

Twenty-two of the 31 candidates responded to questions from the climate action group 350 Madison, saying they support the city’s existing renewable energy and carbon reduction goals and would advance policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

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Proposals ranged from incremental to radical.

Three candidates are calling for a public buyout of Madison Gas and Electric, the investor-owned utility that is targeting carbon-neutral electricity by 2050, and three suggest banning automobiles on the Isthmus.

Other proposals include higher energy efficiency standards for commercial buildings, public financing for clean energy projects, expanding public transportation service and electrification of all city-owned vehicles.

The group received responses from at least one candidate in 10 of the 11 contested races and from both candidates in eight of them.

Only half of the 14 incumbents responded, though five of those who did not respond supported previous resolutions to establish renewable energy and carbon-reduction goals.

Eliza Kruszynski, council member election team leader for 350 Madison, called the response “awesome” and said she’s excited by the range of concrete ideas.

“If we get a response that really means they’re thinking about this,” Kruszynski said. “Whether it’s the first time or it’s already been on their platform.”

The City Council in 2017 unanimously passed a resolution that set goals of community-wide 100% renewable energy and net-zero carbon emissions. The council two years later approved goal dates of 2030 for city operations and 2050 for the entire community.

The Sustainable Madison Committee began work in August to update the city’s plan for reaching that goal.

“That’s what we’re looking for,” Kruszynski said.

Visit to see full candidate responses.


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