Climate Action Framework is announced with bipartisan support, input from thousands of business, conservation, and labor leaders
9/16/2022 8:24:07 AM
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today launched a comprehensive plan to protect Minnesota’s environment and combat climate change. Created with the input of thousands of business, conservation, and climate leaders, the Climate Action Framework identifies strategies to help Minnesotans avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Governor Walz made the announcement during an event at Ecolab’s Advanced Design Center in Eagan alongside members of Minnesota’s Climate Change Subcabinet, its advisory council, and state legislators. B-roll from the event is available online and sound bites from the event are available online.
“To maintain the things we love about Minnesota – our pristine lakes, incredible wilderness areas and state parks, and outdoor economy – we need to act in a collaborative, bipartisan, and forward-looking way,” said Governor Walz. “That’s what this plan aims to do. With input from thousands of Minnesotans, this plan will mitigate the economic, health, and environmental impacts of climate change to make Minnesota a great place to live for generations to come.”
“Like so many parents, I wake up every day and worry about the future of the world my daughter will grow up in,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “We must do the work and take bold steps now to protect our future generations from the worst impacts of climate change.”
The framework identifies immediate and long-term actions Minnesota can take to achieve the state's vision to help communities reduce pollution that contributes to climate change and to prepare for extreme weather events caused by a changing climate.
To slow the impacts of climate change and minimize its effects, the framework includes six goals for climate action with concrete steps the achieve them: clean transportation, climate-smart natural and working lands, resilient communities, clean energy and efficient buildings, healthy lives and communities, and a clean economy.
“Our response to climate change follows the science, confronts challenges head-on, and ensures everyone can benefit from the solutions we develop together," said Katrina Kessler, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Climate Change. “Minnesota is not on track to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals. The Climate Action Framework includes dozens of steps we must take to meet these objectives together."
“The responsibility we have as Minnesotans to ensure the longterm future of our planet and mitigate the effects of climate change is significant ,” said Senator Dave Senjem. “The importance of this matter rises above partisanship and needs to be addressed by all of us coming together and finding solutions. I appreciate Governor Walz advancing the conversation with the introduction of his Climate Action Framework. Understanding that we have but one Earth and a moral obligation and economic interest in preserving it for future generations, it is my hope that citizens and policymakers alike will use the governor’s initiative to continue our state’s collective and studied journey towards a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Minnesota.”
The framework calls for building out the electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, enhanced use of wind and solar energy, and strategies to build carbon storage in forests and soils. The actions will grow the economy by creating new jobs around Minnesota, with collaboration from partners in public and private sectors.
New climate goals for Minnesota are based on the best available science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. These goals include reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent by 2030, achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and prioritizing investments in climate resilience over the next 10 years.
Minnesota’s Climate Change Subcabinet – which includes 15 state agencies, departments, and boards – listened to residents, businesses, community organizations, tribal nations, local governments, and others to develop the content of the framework. In all, more than 3,000 Minnesotans helped shape the framework through public input in the spring of 2022.
“ The effects of climate change are seen in all communities across Minnesota and are felt acutely by family farmers as they make a living on a landscape facing increased extreme weather events ,” said Vice President of the Minnesota Farmers Union Anne Schwagerl. “ In the fall of 2021, the members of Minnesota Farmers Union passed a special order of business on climate resilience. We are pleased to see that the Walz administration heard the farmers perspective when drafting the Climate Action Framework by incentivizing climate-smart soil health practices, promoting a strong and resilient local food system, and protecting the state’s water quality. We look forward to working with the administration on implementing the goals. ”
“ We need collective action to curb the effects of climate change,” said Ecolab Chairman and CEO Christophe Beck . “With a state-wide Climate Action Framework and continued public-private partnerships, Minnesota can be a national leader in the effort to realize a lower carbon future .”
" Minnesota's Climate Action Framework is a bold commitment to Minnesota's future. I am particularly pleased to see the economic opportunity so clearly envisioned in the economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050 goal ," Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM) Executive Director Gregg Mast. " The business opportunities presented in the framework's vision will create thousands of well-paying jobs for Minnesotans, unleash innovation and build resiliency for the entire state ."
“ We have spoken to hundreds of Minnesotans about climate change, and whether they’re business leaders or union workers, the response is the same: everyone is willing to do their part, and everyone wants to see the plan ,” said Kevin Pranis, Marketing Manager, Laborers International Union of North America Minnesota & North Dakota. “ Fortunately, the Walz-Flanagan Administration has delivered a comprehensive climate action framework, and that identifies dozens of opportunities to decarbonize while moving Minnesota forward. With billions of Federal dollars available to accelerate climate solutions, LIUNA members believe it’s time to get to work .”
“ Reports show that 4 out of 10 young people are hesitant to have children, fearing the impacts of climate change on their futures,” said Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota Paul Austin. “Achieving the climate goals of this framework can be our gift to generations of Minnesotans who will live healthy and prosperous lives as a result .”
Learn more about the Climate Action Framework at mn.gov/framework.