FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mayor Tim Kabat (608) 789-7500
Municipal and State Officials Address Climate Change
La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat and La Crosse state legislators are addressing the negative impacts of climate change and the importance of the Mississippi River on the country’s trade and economic growth. As an organization, the City of La Crosse has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 30% since 2007 – its base year for measuring progress in reducing reliance on fossil fuels, increasing renewable energy use and recycling rates – and will continue efforts to meet the goals of the climate agreement.
In a letter sent today, which was co-authored by Rep. Jill Billings and signed by Sen. Jennifer Shilling, state legislators discussed the importance of the Mississippi River on the state and nation, and urged the governor to commit Wisconsin to a state-based plan for combatting climate change. Likewise, Mayor Kabat joined the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative earlier last week in co-authoring a similar letter to federal officials.
“It is essential that local and state legislators present a united front in the face of the president’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement,” Mayor Kabat said. “I commend these legislators for their dedication to the environment and join them in their commitment to combatting climate change. In La Crosse, we have made substantial progress in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and will continue working toward our goals, regardless of the president’s actions.”
Below are excerpts and here is a link to the legislator’s letter to Governor Walker:
“Our state has a rich history of being a leader in conservation and innovative programs to ensure a healthy environment for our citizens. That leadership is more important now than ever before. President Trump’s decision to abandon the United States’ commitment to the world by withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement leaves our country dangerously isolated.
Understanding that the U.S. must continue to play a significant role in addressing climate change, state and local governments across our nation are pledging to honor the Paris accord and promising to continue taking the lead in mitigating climate change. Wisconsin should not fall behind the rest of the world due to an erratic and shortsighted decision by a President desperate to distract from the growing cloud of illegitimacy surrounding him.”
“[Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement] will have devastating effects not only on our natural resources, but also on our ability to export to foreign markets. By pulling out of the agreement, the United States will no longer have a seat at the table on decisions about carbon pricing and taxes on U.S. exports. Additionally, Wisconsin owes a large part of its economy to the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, which contribute to our trade surplus by moving well over half of the nation’s exported corn, soy, and wheat. As such, it is in the state’s and country’s best interest to keep markets open to U.S. products and services.”
On behalf of Mayor Tim Kabat, La Crosse, Wisconsin
Sara McCormick, Courtesy and Information Representative, Mayor’s Office