Minnesota’s Environmental Congress

On Friday morning, climate action activists greeted Minnesota leaders at the Minnesota Environmental Congress to thank Governor Dayton for his strong words on climate during his state of the state address and to encourage swift action on the imminent threat of climate disruption.

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The Minnesota Environmental Congress is a working session of recognized experts and community leaders to set priorities for the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board based on citizen input from public forums this Fall. The Environmental Quality Board includes the heads of 9 state agencies that play a vital role in Minnesota’s environment and development. 

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This Fall, over 1200 citizens turned out to public forums, and overwhelmingly supported Minnesota being an environmental and clean energy leader. 63% of those polled at the forums supported developing at least half of Minnesota’s electricity from renewables. Across the state, people wrote in with personal stories on how climate disruption is changing the Minnesota they love. Governor Dayton responded at the Environmental Congress saying Minnesota can, must and will be a national and world leader in environmental and energy innovation.  

 

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Youth played a powerful role at the Environmental Congress by sharing the input they gathered at the Next Generation Youth Environmental Congress. Youth had displays around the room and hosted a panel of emerging leaders building a more sustainable future for Minnesota. 

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After breakout sessions on water, air/energy, land and climate, the Environmental Congress presented a list of priorities to the Environmental Quality Board that included positioning Minnesota as a national leader in the fight against climate disruption by striving to be carbon neutral by 2050 and establishing concrete plans to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, build a stronger public transit system, increase energy efficiency and invest in clean, renewable energy like wind and solar as called for in the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group’s final report.

We look forward to working with the Environmental Quality Board to move forward on the priorities identified by Minnesotans.

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