Our Climate Commitment

The City of Madison is committed to doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Madison has set the ambitious goal of reaching 100% renewable energy and net zero carbon emissions for city operations by 2030 and community-wide by 2050.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway's Climate Forward Agenda highlights priority actions the City is taking to reach this goal, improve our resilience, and grow our green economy. Check out this Climate Action Spotlight on the Mayor's blog to learn the 15 Ways Madison is Leading on Climate.

Photo showing solar panels and a green roof at Madison Central Library
The roof of Madison's Central Library has solar panels that produce clean, renewable energy and vegetation that reduces stormwater runoff.

Climate Change is Happening Now

We are already feeling the impacts of climate change in Madison, especially increased heat and rainfall. Recent decades were Wisconsin’s warmest and wettest on record.

Wisconsin’s annual average temperature has risen by 3 degrees Fahrenheit since the 1950’s and is likely to increase an additional 2 - 8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050 according to updated climate projections from the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. By 2050, extreme heat days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit will likely triple, and the number of hot nights when the temperature does not drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit will likely quadruple.

This warming trend is bringing increases in the frequency of extreme storms and heavy rainfall events, leading to flooding and high winds that put our communities at risk. By the end of the century, these storms will probably be nearly twice as frequent throughout Wisconsin. Climate change puts our health, infrastructure, and our economy at risk.

Pie chart showing Madison's 2015 greenhouse gas emissions by sector. The largest source of emissions are transportation (41%) and commercial buildings (30%). Other sources of emissions are residential buildings (17%), industrial processes (10%), solid waste (1%), and water and wastewater (1%).

Reducing Our Emissions

Achieving our climate and energy goals means cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all sectors.


Fossil fuels are the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about the City is supporting the transition to clean, renewable energy to power homes, businesses, and city facilities.


From electric Bus Rapid Transit to bike paths and expanded EV charging, Madison is working hard to decarbonize our transportation system and make it easy for everyone to get around town without a car.

Child playing in a sprinkler

Building Our Resilience

The City is working to protect our community from climate-related hazards by investing in initiatives focused on air quality, extreme heat, flooding, and more.

Air Quality

Clean air is important for our health and wellbeing. The City of Madison is launching a new project to install air quality monitors across the city. These monitors will help us understand where air pollution is highest, how it varies across the community, and develop strategies to protect community health and reduce pollution.


We are collaborating with researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison to map extreme heat and urban heat islands in the city and develop strategies to cool the city and keep residents safe during extreme heat.


Madison is working hard to improve our resilience to flooding by updating our stormwater ordinance, embarking on detailed watershed studies, and upgrading our stormwater infrastructure to better handle large rain events. Learn about these efforts and more by the City’s Engineering Division.

Advancing Climate Equity

Climate change is a threat multiplier that amplifies existing health, social, and economic inequities. The risks and impacts of climate change are not equally or fairly distributed across people and communities. People of color, people with disabilities and certain health conditions, people from low-income backgrounds are disproportionately impacted by climate change.

Our climate work focuses on ensuring that all people have access and opportunity to benefit from climate solutions while not bearing an unequal burden of the impacts of climate change. Climate equity is an important intersection between the work of the Sustainability and Resilience Initiative and the Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI). The mission of the RESJI initiative is to establish racial equity and social justice as a core principle in all decisions, policies and functions of the City of Madison.