Met Council is part of new Climate Change Subcabinet

Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The Metropolitan Council is among 15 state agencies that will participate in a new state Climate Change Subcabinet. Gov. Tim Walz announced formation of the subcabinet and a Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change on Dec. 2.

The subcabinet is charged with “identifying policies and strategies that will put Minnesota back on track” to meet the goals of the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act.

Rows of solar panels on a park-and-ride ramp.“The Council has demonstrated its commitment to energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Molly Cummings, interim chair of the Council. “From capturing solar energy at transit facilities to deploying electric buses to producing electricity from steam generated at wastewater plants, we’re fighting climate change across our operations.

“We applaud the governor’s elevation of this issue and are ready to work further with other agencies and the public to secure a livable future for our children and grandchildren,” Cummings said.

Members of the advisory council will be selected through an open appointments process. The governor will appoint members to represent different perspectives and experiences and will advise the subcabinet.

Mitigation efforts reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The regional development framework, Thrive MSP 2040, commits the Council to helping build a resilient and sustainable region in the face of a changing climate. We lead by example in our operations and we support local governments to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Among our efforts:

  • Optimizing wastewater treatment processes to require less energy

  • Electrifying the bus fleet

  • Helping to create a solar community collaborative with installations producing 7.6 megawatts of power

  • Creating a greenhouse gas measurement tool for local governments

Adaptation includes assessing risk and protecting assets

Adaptation focuses on how to change policies and practices to adjust to the effects of climate change that are occurring now. Examples of the Council’s work include:

  • Developing a climate vulnerability assessment tool to help the Council and local governments identify potential risks

  • Making grants to local governments to reduce infiltration and inflow of stormwater and groundwater into the wastewater system

  • Planning bus routes to avoid flood-prone streets

Resilience planning increases flexibility to respond

Resilience strategies recognize the difficulty of predicting impacts of climate change and emphasize increasing our flexibility to survive and thrive regardless of how climate change develops. Examples include:

  • Providing technical assistance to local governments that want to put a resilience chapter into their local comprehensive plan

  • Developing a metro groundwater model to help local governments plan for their water needs

  • Designing facilities with enhanced energy features and effective stormwater management plans

Video presentation about the Council’s work on climate change

Read the news release from the governor’s office

Posted In: Council News