Climate Action

Over the long term, climate change is one of the greatest threats to our region’s ongoing prosperity and livability. We are already experiencing rising temperatures and increased severe weather events, from floods to droughts. Farm crops suffer, infrastructure is threatened, recreational amenities are at risk, and water supplies are impacted. Black, Indigenous, and people of color are disproportionately impacted by climate change, making existing disparities in our region worse.

The Met Council is committed to helping our region be resilient to climate change. We provide tools to local governments to help them reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. We are reducing our emissions and adapting our facilities and operations in light of climate-related risks.

We continue to work with our partners to understand climate impacts and evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The next regional development framework will address climate change.

Preparing for increased flooding and extreme heat

Preparing for increased flooding and extreme heat

We created the Climate Vulnerability Assessment to help the Met Council and local governments prepare for the impacts of climate change, with the goal of preserving valuable local and regional assets. The tool’s interactive maps allow users to identify areas where localized flooding and extreme heat pose threats to infrastructure and human health, and to make plans to mitigate the impacts or adapt for them.

Tracking greenhouse gas emissions

Tracking greenhouse gas emissions

The Twin Cities Greenhouse Gas Inventory provides local governments with customized data about greenhouse gas emissions from their community across several key sectors. The scenario planning tool, still in development, will allow the Met Council and local governments to compare the effects of different strategies to mitigate emissions. The information will be used to create, evaluate, and improve climate mitigation and adaptation plans.

Providing resources to expand solar energy use

Providing resources to expand solar energy use

By state law, cities and townships must plan for the protection and development of access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems in their comprehensive plans. The Met Council provides technical assistance to support solar energy planning efforts. We have collected a comprehensive online catalog of resources in collaboration with the Great Plains Institute, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota GreenStep Cities, and the SolSmart Program.

Enhancing and preserving our tree canopy

Enhancing and preserving our tree canopy

As temperatures rise, preserving and enhancing tree canopy will be critical for carbon absorption, improving air quality, reducing local temperatures, and enhancing mental health. Growing Shade combines local stories with an interactive mapping tool to help local governments decide how and where to improve their tree canopy. Map layers allow users to see the intersection between tree canopy, income, race, and other factors in order to prioritize where to plant and maintain trees.

Energy efficiency in our wastewater operations

Improving energy efficiency in our wastewater treatment operations

Wastewater treatment is energy intensive. The regional system uses $17 million of electricity and gas each year. We continuously pursue opportunities to improve energy efficiency as we design and implement energy-efficient technologies and equipment, optimize the performance of our facilities, and conduct proactive maintenance. Learn more about our wastewater treatment energy and sustainability efforts.

A row of cars on the road

Reducing transportation emissions 

Transportation represents the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and the second largest in Minnesota. The Met Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation are laying the groundwork for building a regional electric vehicle charging network.

Transit is a sustainable alternative to driving automobiles. While emissions from public buses represent a small fraction of all transportation-related emissions, we are working to reduce these emissions. We are implementing a Zero-Emission Bus Transition Plan.