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Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

 

Cover of Dane County's Climate Action Plan

Leading Our Climate Action Efforts

Kathy Kuntz

Dane County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) is enormously ambitious and profoundly practical. As a private citizen, I was delighted to play a small role in helping to create some of the recommendations in the CAP and I was proud of Dane County’s outstanding leadership on climate action. 

Today I am even more delighted to be the Dane County staff person leading efforts to implement the CAP, to realize a 50% reduction in countywide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Honestly, it feels a little daunting to become the Director of the Office of Energy & Climate Change. I am stepping into big shoes. Keith Reopelle, the first director of our office, convened the Council on Climate Change and worked with that diverse group of stakeholders to develop our climate action plan. A longtime environmental advocate and brilliant facilitator, Keith brought people together and created a vision for a future where everyone in Dane County thrives, where the benefits of a clean energy future are available to all.

Now it is my responsibility to turn that vision into reality. This is a huge task, one that involves everyone in Dane County.

I am an optimist so I like to approach big challenges by thinking about the factors that we can leverage to enable success. In this instance, the factors enabling success relative to our big CAP goals include: 

  • Our County leadership is committed to climate action.  The County Executive created our office and the County Board of Supervisors unanimously endorsed our climate action plan. Over the last decade these leaders have authorized numerous projects to reduce emissions associated with county operations and all support our efforts to reduce countywide emissions.
  • Dane County residents who support action. The people of Dane County know climate change is happening and they want to see action to reduce emissions.  The Yale Climate Opinion Maps illustrate this in vivid color but you also see it in the multitude of local groups concerned about climate action.
  • Stakeholders from across Dane County are already doing their part to reduce emissions. Our Climate Champions program and Clean Energy Map celebrate the actions of businesses, faith communities, nonprofits and local governments. Check out the various success stories for inspiration.
  • We have access to experts who can help us. Not only are we home to a world-class research university, we also have entrepreneurs and other experts in various fields.  Already numerous experts generously contributed their expertise to help create the CAP; you can be sure we will collaborate with experts on implementing the CAP and measuring our progress.
  • My personal commitment to get results. I have spent almost thirty years working on energy and climate change efforts in Wisconsin; people will tell you that I like to get things done. I am committed to working with all parties to realize the vision Keith laid out in the CAP.

Yes, there are plenty of barriers to our progress but barriers can be overcome. Indeed, a key priority for our office is to remove barriers, to make it easier for you and everyone else in Dane County to take actions that reduce emissions and create Dane County’s clean energy future.

I am honored to be able to use my skills and expertise to help Dane County realize its vision to lead on climate action. Let’s do this, Dane County.

 

Kathy Kuntz

Kathy Kuntz

Director

Kathy is the Director in the Dane County’s Office of Energy and Climate Change. In that role she's leading efforts to implement the Climate Action Plan. Prior to coming to Dane County, Kathy led Cool Choices and, prior to that, she led Wisconsin's Focus on Energy program.

 

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