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Nov 01, 2021


MCEA live from COP26

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy is honored to have a presence in Glasgow, Scotland as leaders and activists from around the globe begin converging this week for the biggest international climate conference since the Paris Agreement was reached back in 2015. 

The United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP26) is a worldwide, two-week meeting of many of the brightest and most influential minds on how to equitably and successfully reduce the already unfolding harms of the climate crisis. It’s a chance for citizens from nations experiencing the most dire impacts to tell their stories, and for leaders to determine how history’s biggest polluters, including the United States, will deploy their fair share of resources to address the emergency. It’s also where innovative ideas are exchanged and crucial relationships are built. 

With scientists from around the world characterizing the state of the climate crisis as a “Code Red for Humanity,” the stakes at the summit have never been higher. MCEA’s delegation will be working to share the story of how Minnesota — on the land of the Dakota and Anishinaabe peoples — can and must be a leader for the Midwest in the transition away from coal, oil and natural gas. We also hope to help amplify the voices of marginalized communities who are already being hit the hardest by climate change’s toll.

Two MCEA staff, including our Climate Program Director, Ellen Anderson, as well as two MCEA guests, form our delegation. Our guests are already at the conference for the first week, while MCEA staff will cover the second, when the summit transitions into official negotiations. 

Look out for content from our team throughout, including social media posts, emails and webinars about what we are seeing, hearing and sharing at COP26. First up will be a panel discussion live from Glasgow this Wednesday called Designing an Equitable Carbon Free Future in Minnesota and the Midwest.

Click the photos to learn about our delegates


Panel discussion: Designing a equitable carbon-free future in Minnesota & the Midwest

What:  Panel discussion live from COP26 featuring three Minnesota experts on the ground in Glasgow talking about efforts to push for a just transition to a carbon-free economy — one that values public health and the environment, provides opportunities to low income communities and communities of color, respects treaty rights, and cracks open the status quo to explore new ideas and structures for the economy of the future. The panel, called Designing an equitable carbon-free future in Minnesota and the Midwest, will be hosted by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA) and the US Climate Action Center. 

When: Wednesday, Nov. 3rd at 5 pm GMT, or noon CT

Where: Glasgow, Scotland. The webinar will be broadcast virtually.

How to watch: This event already occurred. Click below to watch the recording!

Press Conference: Minnesota elected officials and policy experts on the need for bold climate action at home

When: Monday, Nov. 8th at 2:30pm GMT (Glasgow time), or 8:30am US Central Time


  • Representative Patty Acomb Chair of Climate Action Caucus and author of Next Generation Climate Act
  • Representative Frank Hornstein, Chair of Transportation Committee
  • Ashley Fairbanks, Anishinaabe artist and organizer and the Creative Director for the 100% Campaign
  • Ellen Anderson, MCEA Climate Director and former State Senator and former Chair of the Public Utility Commission

How to watch:  click here to watch a recording.


Panel discussion: Indigenous Led Resistance on Minnesota's Line 3 Pipeline

What: This panel discussion will feature individuals and organizations that have been involved in attempts to stop the Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline in Minnesota. Panelists will share their experience from front line, social media, legal, academic, and Indigenous perspectives. This panel will present live at COP26 at the US Climate Action Center Pavilion in addition to being livestreamed on YouTube.

When: Tuesday, November 9th from 11-12pm GMT (Glasgow time). click here to watch a recording


  • Ashley Fairbanks, White Earth Nation, Honor the Earth
  • Representative Frank Hornstein, Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Ellen Anderson, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
  • Julia Nerbonne, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light
  • Roopali Phadke, Macalester College
  • Ron Turney, White Earth Nation, Independent Media
  • Frank Bibeau, Attorney, Honor the Earth
  • Sha Merirei Ongelungel, Media Coordinator, Indigenous Environmental Network

Click here to watch a recording of the Line 3 COP26 panel


Why is MN's voice critical at COP26?

MN is one of the fastest warming U.S. states

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows Minnesota has gotten about 2.5 Fahrenheit hotter over the past 120 years, making it one of the fastest warming states in the United States. Climate inaction in the U.S. is already, and will continue to, disproportionately impact our region.

MN is the home of Lake Superior and the Mississippi River

Lake Superior is the largest lake in the world, 10% of the world's freshwater. The headwaters of the Mississippi lie within the state of Minnesota. As one of the world's major river systems, our actions in Minnesota have downstream and global impacts. 

The Line 3 injustice is front and center on the global stage

The resistance to the Line 3 pipeline is a global movement. The world has watched the violence, treaty rights violations, and climate destruction this project has brought to Minnesota. If not stopped, Line 3 stands to be one of the last new tar-sands pipelines to be built.  The world is watching.

The Midwest is the largest carbon emitter by region in U.S.

By region, the Midwest is the largest emitter of carbon in the United States, larger than the East Coast, West Coast, and South.  There is no U.S. climate solution without Midwestern participation.