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Minnesota takes action on climate change

About This Initiative

Canoe in BWCA

Our Minnesota Climate aims to build greater awareness of the current challenges we face from climate change, communicate how your state government is responding, and inspire more Minnesotans to take action.

It's here and now, and a threat. Climate change threatens the very things that make Minnesota a great place to live, from our magnificent 10,000 lakes to our farmable land and clean air. Our climate is changing rapidly, and these shifts are already affecting our economy, our cities and towns, our unique and cherished ecosystems, and our health and well-being.

We must redouble our efforts to meet our goals. In 2007, Governor Tim Pawlenty signed the Next Generation Energy Act (NGEA), which outlined a series of goals for reducing carbon emissions and supporting energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy in Minnesota. The NGEA, which had bipartisan support in the state legislature, set statutory goals to reduce GHG emissions in the state by 30% by 2025 (from 2005 levels) and by 80% by 2050. But Minnesota did not meet its 2015 goal of 15% reduction, and is not on track to meet the 2025 goal.

It's not too late to take action. In 2019, Governor Tim Walz signed the Climate Change Executive Order (19-37), reinforcing the size and the scope of the climate crisis and the need to protect all Minnesotans from the most severe economic, health, and ecological impacts of climate change. The Climate Change Executive Order brings a new clearer, emphasis for state agencies to work together to track the effects of climate change in the state and drive innovative policy solutions to mitigate climate change and achieve greater resilience.

Bold and creative responses needed. The Climate Change Executive Order established the Climate Change Subcabinet, comprised of state agency and department leadership, as well as the Governor's Advisory Council on Climate Change, a citizen board appointed to advise the Subcabinet. Together, they are tasked with identifying policies and strategies that will help us get back on track to meet our NGEA goals, increase resiliency, and prepare for the climate change impacts that cannot be avoided.

Solutions are possible if we work together. Solving the climate crisis requires participation from all parts of the state, from every social and economic class, and from the public and private sectors together to form solutions as One Minnesota. By working collaboratively, we can build resilient communities, mitigate risk to our farms and businesses, and create a homegrown green economy to position Minnesota for long-term economic success.

Our Minnesota Climate is a multi-agency initiative focused on putting Minnesota back on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.