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Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Climate change, which is heavily influenced by the release of greenhouse gases, is having a real and significant impact on communities in Minnesota and across the globe.1 Minnesotans are increasingly experiencing the effects of climate change: higher temperatures, more extreme storms with intense flooding, and changes in our unique and cherished ecosystems.2 Importantly, some groups and communities are at higher risk from the effects of climate change due to social, economic, historical, and political factors; for example, these risks may include greater exposure to pollution, barriers to affordable energy-efficient and climate resilient housing, and uncertain access to natural resources.2 Addressing climate change presents us with a historic opportunity to strengthen our economy, improve our health and environment, and create a more equitable Minnesota for everyone.

In 2007, the Next Generation Energy Act set targets to reduce Minnesota greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent by 2015, 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2030 (from 2005 levels). From 2005 to 2020, Minnesota’s emissions fell by 23 percent, putting us on track to meet our statutory goals. However, today science tells us that we must go further, faster. In 2022, Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework set targets to reduce emissions 50 percent by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.2 The Climate Action Framework targets follow the international goals set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).2 These targets were adopted into statute in 2023.3 The 2023-2027 One Minnesota Greenhouse Gas Emissions Goal aligns with these more ambitious targets for emissions reductions. While it will be challenging, this goal represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make Minnesota a better place to live for all.

Goal: Minnesota is on track to meet or exceed its statutory greenhouse gas emissions goals.

Measurable goal for 2027: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030.

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Source: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Commerce (2023, January). Greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota 2005-2020: Biennial report to the Legislature tracking the state’s contribution to emissions contributing to climate change. 

Technical notes: The target of reducing emissions 50 percent by 2030 (from 2005 levels) comes from Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework (2022) and Minnesota statute (as amended in 2023). For more information on how Minnesota emissions are estimated and to see detailed emissions data by sector, see the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s greenhouse gas emissions data website.

1 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II [Pörtner, H.-O., Roberts, D. C., Tignor, M., Poloczanska, E. S., Mintenbeck, K., Alegría, A., Craig, M., Langsdorf, S., Löschke, S., Möller, V., Okem, A., Rama, B. (Eds.)]. (2022). Climate Change 2022: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Cambridge University Press.

State of Minnesota. (2022). Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework.

3 Minnesota Statute §61.216H.02.01. Utilities: Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Control: Greenhouse gas emissions-reduction goal. (as amended in 2023:

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