Minnesota is the fastest-warming state in America, threatening our farmers, causing flooding, and costing every Minnesotan. Climate change is the top public health crisis of the 21st century - vying with the pandemic, affecting people of color and poor communities disproportionately. Minnesotans are seeing the health impacts right now - including Lyme disease, poor air quality, worsening allergies, extreme heat and mental health impacts. Our children and grandchildren deserve a livable climate but we will fail to give them one unless we set science-based climate standards and then meet them.
Setting science-based climate targets and measuring our progress is the first step toward taking the bold climate action needed. Unless science-based standards guide our actions, we will fail in our efforts to address the climate crisis. We set Minnesota’s bipartisan climate standards fourteen years ago in the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 using the most current science, but we have learned much since then. We must update our standards to reflect the targets that scientists tell us are needed to avoid the worst climate impacts.
The Next Generation Climate Act, introduced by Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL-Minnetonka) does exactly that. It updates our climate targets and sets them based on the best available science - including a net zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050 target. It requires that our governmental actions are consistent with these targets, and requires annual reporting on progress toward meeting these goals.
Minnesota led the nation in setting bipartisan, science-based climate targets in 2007. We must do so again if we are to protect a livable climate for our children and grandchildren. Please take action below to tell your State Representative to support and sign onto the Next Generation Climate Act as a co-author.
Next Generation Climate Act
"Minnesota needs to update our standards to reflect the current recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But updating the science-based targets alone will not get us where we need to be. Minnesota needs to add teeth to the law and require the government to take action to achieve the goals."
Ellen Anderson, MCEA Climate Director, "State's Climate Report Card Shows We're Failing," Star Tribune, January 24, 2021.
First Hearing for NGCA
The Next Generation Climate Act gets its first hearing, an informational hearing in the House Climate and Energy Committee.
New data shows MN failing to meet 2007 goals
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency releases the 2018 data (the most recent) tracking progress toward the targets set in the 2007 Next Generation Climate Act, and finds that Minnesota has only reduced greenhouse gas pollution by 8% compared to 2007 levels.
IPCC releases new scientific guidance for climate targets
As part of its recommendations to policymakers, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change releases new targets for greenhouse gas reductions, including a 45% reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
Minnesota misses the first target in 2007 NGEA
The Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 set a goal of 15% reduction in greenhouse gas pollution by 2015, but Minnesota missed the first target in the law.
Next Generation Energy Act signed
“The best time to have taken action on energy issues would've been 30 years ago. The second best time is right now," Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty said while signing the bipartisan Next Generation Energy Act. "The nation has been asleep at the switch, but here in Minnesota we are kick-starting the future by increasing our nation-leading per capita renewable fuel use, boosting cost saving measures and tackling greenhouse gas emissions."