Protesters gather at Capitol, MG&E to demand clean energy, climate action

GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE MADISON AQU 1 1280_1569000513009.jpg_39389323_ver1.0_1280_720.jpg

A climate strike is planned for Friday afternoon at the Wisconsin State Capitol building.

Madison residents are participating in the worldwide Global Climate Strike Movement, leading one of thousands of rallies taking place across the globe.

The group is marching to demand that Gov. Tony Evers declare a state of climate emergency, and that Madison Gas and Electric transition to 100% clean energy by 2030 and divest from the Columbia and Elm Road coal-fired power plants, according to a press release.

MG&E said in a statement Friday shortly after noon that its net-zero carbon goal of 2050 is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

"This is the same report submitted as Congressional testimony this week by the young climate change activist Greta Thunberg who told Congress to listen to the IPCC science. And that's what we’re doing.

"Our net-zero goal announced earlier this year signals our direction, but it doesn't determine our pace—we’re doing everything we can to achieve net-zero as quickly as we can."

The protest group says its participants will march from the Capitol to MG&E, rally at the corner of Blount and East Main streets, and then march back to the Capitol for a youth-led rally at 4 p.m.

The final rally will include a livestream of Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg's speech, free food and speeches from local young leaders.

On Friday, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul tweeted his support of the people rallying Friday, thanking them for "calling for meaningful action on the #climatecrisis."

Hundreds of marchers were on Main Street, chanting, and headed to MG&E shortly before 1 p.m.