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Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan

Greenhouse gas emissions are changing the Earth’s atmosphere and dangerously warming the planet. All Milwaukeeans will be affected by climate change, and low-income communities face environmental hazards at a higher rate. In the face of these threats, Milwaukee will support a new clean energy economy that provides opportunities for people of color to more fully and equitably participate in the economic life of the city. The Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan is the result of over three years worth of planning and public input through the City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity

The Climate and Equity Plan supports Milwaukee's goals to:

  1. Reduce community greenhouse gas emissions: 45% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
  2. Improve racial and economic equity by creating green jobs that pay at least $40,000 and are focused on recruiting local people of color.

Explore the Climate & Equity Plan

Select an image to view each area of the plan.


Overview Web Page Preview

10 Big Ideas Website Preview

ClimateView Tracker


10 Big Ideas for Action

To achieve its objectives, the plan outlines 10 Big Ideas to reduce greenhouse gases, increase racial equity, and make Milwaukee a prosperous city for the future.


Food bank


Waste Reduction



Public Feedback

Hear from community members why the Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan is important to them.


Further Climate Action

The City of Milwaukee, through its Environmental Collaboration Office, has been a leader in Wisconsin on local energy policy and climate action for the last decade, with efforts in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green infrastructure. In 2018, the City began its climate action planning process by publishing a Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions InventoryMilwaukee County and other units of Milwaukee local government also have environmental sustainability offices that work on these issues. The same year as the City, the County published its own Community Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory.

Addressing climate change will require policy changes at every level of government. ECO has developed a list of policy recommendations for consideration by the State of Wisconsin and has submitted these to the Governor's Task Force on Climate Change. The Task Force represents a concerted community effort to recognize the urgency of climate change and racial inequities. It seeks to identify solutions and accelerate the pace of change. 

Planning Process

The plan is the direct outgrowth of over three years of public discussions and planning through the City-County Taskforce on Climate and Economic Equity.

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  June 2019: The City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity Is Created

The City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County jointly established the City-County Task force on Climate and Economic Equity, sponsored by then Milwaukee County Supervisor, Supreme Moore through Common Council File 190445.

The Task Force was formed to make recommendations on how to:

  1. Reduce community-wide net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 45% by the year 2030 and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.

  2. Reduce racial and income inequality by assuring that greenhouse gas reduction investments and policies will create the maximum number of permanent living wage green jobs for people who live in the most impoverished Milwaukee neighborhoods with limited economic opportunity.

  March 2020:The Task Force's Preliminary Report is Published

The Task Force writes in its Preliminary Report, "A comprehensive climate action plan is a time-intensive endeavor; generally taking one to 2 years to complete and numerous years to implement. This preliminary report takes stock of the work already being done in this area around Milwaukee, charts a path to achieve ambitious medium- and long-term climate and equity goals, and provides recommendations for short-term solutions that may make an immediate impact."

At this time, the Task Force created four work groups to investigate and make recommendations on the following issues:

  1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment and Reduction Strategies
  2. Jobs and Equity
  3. Finance and Funding
  4. Education and Community Outreach
  2021: The Task Force Conducts Research & Hold Meetings

Throughout the year, members conducted video surveys, held events, and took part in dozens of working group meetings. These efforts drew citizen input for the plan to begin a starting draft on the "10 Big Ideas" for Milwaukee to focus on.

•  Read more about their work below:


  March 2022: Summary of Working Group Recommendations is Presented to the Common Council

Following a year of research, ECO Director Erick Shambarger presented the the summary of the Task Force's working groups to the Council on "10 Big Ideas." A consultant was then hired to turn the recommendations into a formal draft for public review.

•  Watch the Presentation to the Council's Steering and Rules Committee

Milwaukee's Climate and Equity Plan Summary of Working Group Recommendations PowerPoint

  Summer 2022: Our Future Milwaukee Citizen Coalition Formed

The Our Future Milwaukee Coalition is a citizen coalition in support of the Climate and Equity Plan that will continue to advocate for the implementation of the 10 Big Ideas proposed in the document. All official communication about the Plan will be provided by the Environmental Collaboration Office. Sign up for the ECO Newsletter to stay up-to-date on the Plan's progress.

Our Future Milwaukee logo

  November 2022: Draft Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan Available to the Public for Feedback

After more than a year of research and planning, the City unveiled a draft of the plan for public comment at at a public Town Hall at Milwaukee Public Library, online via English and Spanish surveys, and at community listening sessions across the city. Public feedback was then integrated into the final version of the plan to be presented to the Common Council for adoption.

•  Watch a Video Recording of the Town Hall (In English & Spanish)

Town Hall Video Recording

  June 2023: Mayor Johnson Signs Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan

On June 23, 2023, Mayor Cavalier Johnson signed File #221233, adopting the Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan as part of the Citywide Policy Plan contained in the City's Overall Comprehensive Plan. The ordinance requires that relevant City departments work towards its implementation, including pursuing necessary state and federal funding.

The resolution authorizes ECO to work with City departments, Milwaukee County, state agencies, public utilities, and relevant community organizations and businesses to advance the goals and strategies outlined in the plan. The plan also requires ECO to provide publicly available updates on implementation. Finally, the ordinance changes the City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity to the City-County Advisory Board on Climate and Economic Equity and charges the body with reviewing implementation of the plan and directs the Board to submit an annual report to the Common Council on the status of the plan’s implementation.

Mayor Johnson signs the Climate and Equity Plan

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