In 2017 Dane County Executive Joe Parisi created the Dane County Council on Climate Change with the charge of working with the Office of Energy and Climate Change to create a Climate Action Plan that would put Dane County on a path to deep decarbonization. The Council completed its work in April 2020 when the Office of Energy & Climate Change published Dane County's first comprehensive Climate Action Plan.
The Council was made up of business leaders, representatives of the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute, local utilities, equity and environmental advocates, as well as local government officials from across the county. Its primary purpose was to draft a set of recommendations for programs, projects, and policies to put Dane County on the path to deep decarbonization and establish Dane County as a national leader on climate mitigation.
The Council’s recommendations demonstrate that deep decarbonization can be achieved in a just and equitable way, result in major economic and health benefits county-wide, and provide energy security, while bridging the County’s rural and urban communities. The CAP is a roadmap to sustainability, not just for county government but also the business community, homeowners, and other local governments.