National & International Policy

Varsity Hall III
1 – 2:15 p.m.  |  Breakout Session 2B

Nearly all countries have signed the Paris Climate Agreement, and most emitters have pledged to reduce emissions to net zero by mid-century. Panelists in this session shared a variety of perspectives on implementing national climate policies.

A recording will be available soon.

Key Takeaways

  • Free markets and profit must be part of the argument for renewable energy. If renewable energy is not profitable and able to operate freely, it is unlikely bipartisan political support for renewables would occur.  
  • How can international conferences, agreements, and frameworks lead to concrete action on climate change? Oftentimes international agreements are made but not ratified in individual countries. There must be tangible benefits from these frameworks and agreements. 
  • Mitigating climate change offers the greatest public health opportunity of our lifetime. Climate change, increased temperatures, increasing emissions, and other climate impacts lead to a multitude of health issues and deaths globally. We need ambitious and health-focused climate policy to combat chronic disease and create a healthier society. 
  • Political differences need to be put aside, all arguments must be heard, and significant outreach must occur. Bipartisan solutions will lead to concrete action on climate change.


Scott Coenen

Credentials: Panelist, National & International Policy

Position title: Executive Director, Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum

Scott Coenen leads WICEF’s effort to provide a voice for conservatives in the state’s energy policy debate, with a focus on advancing clean, reliable, affordable renewable energy and energy efficiency. Before joining WICEF in 2017,…

Kathleen Falk

Credentials: Moderator, National & International Policy

Position title: Former Dane County Executive

Kathleen Falk, a graduate of Stanford University and the UW–Madison Law School, began her career as co-director of Wisconsin’s Environmental Decade. In that role, and then as the state’s public intervenor—an assistant attorney general in…

Russ Feingold

Credentials: Panelist, National & International Policy

Position title: President, American Constitution Society; former U.S. Senator

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold is the honorary ambassador for the Campaign for Nature, a global effort calling on policymakers to commit to address the growing biodiversity crisis. The campaign seeks a science-driven, ambitious new deal…

Jonathan Patz

Credentials: Panelist, National & International Policy

Position title: Director, Global Health Institute, UW–Madison

Jonathan Patz is the John P. Holton Chair of Health and the Environment with appointments in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences. For 15 years, Patz served as…