Ann Mulholland, director of The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota and a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change, issued the following statement on the newly released draft of the Minnesota Climate Action Framework.
“Minnesota must take ambitious action now to tackle climate change. We are grateful to Gov. Tim Walz and his administration for updating the Minnesota Climate Action Framework and outlining a plan to implement a range of climate mitigation measures and adaptation strategies that will make our communities healthier and more resilient. State leaders should continue to expand upon this draft framework and further define the benchmarks our state must meet in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
“Natural climate solutions have the potential to mitigate 15 percent of our state emissions, but without measurable goals and clearly defined actions, we risk underutilizing the natural ability of our forests, wetlands and grasslands to sequester and store carbon. The Walz Administration should build upon this draft of the Minnesota Climate Action Framework to prioritize and further quantify the role of each recommended action. The revised plan should propose specific programmatic funding and policy changes that are needed to effectively leverage this action plan.
The impacts of climate change are already affecting Minnesota communities and will invariably lead to more extreme weather, natural disasters and economic instability.
“We hope to see a more ambitious goal for the protection of our lands and waters that recognizes the co-benefits to our climate and our native plants and wildlife. If supported by measurable actions, such a goal could make Minnesota a leader in conservation and climate action.
“The impacts of climate change are already affecting Minnesota communities and will invariably lead to more extreme weather, natural disasters and economic instability. This draft framework wisely includes nature-based adaptations that offer achievable strategies to make our cities and towns more resilient to climate change in a cost-effective way. In the revised final version of the Climate Action Framework, state leaders should include more specific proposals to substantially increase green infrastructure that improves our air and water quality, reduces the inequitable impacts of climate change and enhances Minnesotans’ overall quality of life.
“This Legislative session, Minnesota has a unique opportunity to make a big investment in tackling climate change. By passing a capital investment package and supplemental budget that invests in natural climate solutions and nature-based adaptation strategies, legislators can take much-needed action to protect our lands, waters and people and increase our resilience to climate change.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.