In 2021, Minnesota's state agencies are prioritizing smart investments to reduce emissions and help Minnesota's communities prepare and adapt to climate change.
Protecting our natural and working lands
Helping Minnesota farmers implement proven climate-smart practices
Minnesota farmers are an essential part of our climate solution. Governor Walz proposes $500,000 to establish the Climate Smart Farms Project to quantify and incentivize proven climate supportive practices in agriculture.
Improving farmland soil health by accelerating cover crop usage
Governor Walz recommends $5.5 million to accelerate the use of cover crops, one of the most effective ways to improve soil health and store carbon. More than 20 million acres of agricultural land in Minnesota could incorporate cover crop practices and capture more than 4 million tons of carbon each year.
Increasing tree cover to offset greenhouse gas emissions
A mature tree absorbs 48 pounds of carbon per year. Increasing the number of trees in Minnesota is a commonsense approach to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Governor Walz proposes $2.6 million to expand tree-growing capacity at the State Forest Nursery and provide incentives to replant trees on open land and increase tree density in existing forests.
Creating resilient communities
Preparing Minnesota communities for our changing climate
Extreme rain events in Minnesota are more intense and more frequent than at any time on record, with devastating effects for homes, businesses, and local communities. Governor Walz proposes $2.9 million to help local and tribal governments assess vulnerabilities and develop plans to enhance stormwater infrastructure, providing necessary resources for communities to prepare and adapt to climate change impacts.
More information: Pollution Control Agency
Developing more energy efficient commercial and large, multi-family buildings
Since 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in the commercial building sector have increased by 15%, partially driven by higher heating and cooling demands caused by a changing climate. Governor Walz recommends $145,000 to develop improved energy efficiency standards for all new commercial and large multi-family buildings to achieve net-zero by 2036.
Protecting Minnesota landscapes after major precipitation events
Governor Walz proposes $3 million to develop a statewide pilot program that will leverage local, federal and private sector funds to mitigate the impacts of uncontrolled or unmanaged agricultural drainage and climate-driven runoff increases in watersheds.
Investing in homegrown energy for transportation
Investing in cleaner biofuels, farmers and rural communities
Minnesota’s farmers and rural communities are a national leader in biofuels production and technology. Governor Walz recommends $4 million to establish a biofuels infrastructure grant program to increase the use of ethanol and biodiesel and help service stations install the fuel-dispensing equipment needed to ramp up use of higher blends of biofuels. Smart investments in Minnesota biofuels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide opportunities for farmers and Greater Minnesota communities.
Expanding Minnesota's electric vehicle charging network
Governor Walz recommends up to $1 million to expand the statewide electric vehicle (EV) charging network. In addition, Governor Walz proposes $150,000 to fund 150 EV chargers at more than 40 MnDOT facilities for the state fleet. Improving the EV charging network in Minnesota will encourage EV purchases and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, the largest source of these harmful emissions in the state.