Earlier this month we were delighted to see the Paris Agreement ratified, meaning that it will enter into force with historic speed. The Agreement cleared the final hurdle when several European countries formally ratified the pact, meaning that nations accounting for more than 55 percent of the world’s carbon emissions were formally on board — the level required for the pact to go into effect. The swift ratification means the pact will go into effect on November 6, less than a year after the agreement was reached! We’re thrilled about this news, as well as the fact that 170 counties recently approved a new U.N. agreement limiting powerful HFCs (refrigerants), which will have a strong positive impact on mitigating climate change. Locally, we also saw a major climate victory finalized last week, when the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved Xcel Energy’s transformational plan to double their wind and solar energy capacity and retire their Sherco 1 & 2 coal plants by the mid 2020s.
Our local efforts of engaging individuals and communities in climate solutions are in full effect this fall, and gaining increased recognition. We are proud to note that our co-produced Twin Cities PBS film, Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate, was nominated for a regional Emmy. Another project we supported, Futures North’s Phase Change installation at Northern Spark, won an award at the SXSW Eco Place By Design competition last week!
We are in the midst of launching several new initiatives, including a series of breakfast conversations with elected officials, candidates, and Climate Minnesota community champions. Our Education team is presenting at several education conferences, sharing our free curriculum resources and professional development offerings; and our YEA! MN program kicked off the year with its first Network meeting for Twin Cities high school students interested in learning about climate literacy and climate justice.
Looking ahead, we are hiring for a new Office Manager, as we said a fond farewell to our Admin Coordinator Jon Wallace earlier this month. We are also gearing up for our 10-year celebration event on December 1 – we are excited to have so many of our friends and supporters joining us for the Hottest Event of the Decade!
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
Follow Our Delegation at COP22
Earlier this month, with unprecedented speed, the Paris Agreement that was finalized at last year’s COP21 climate talks officially entered into force. At the UN’s Marrakech Climate Change Conference, COP22, nations of the world will continue their work on strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, with the central focus on enhancing ambition, promoting implementation and providing support. Sign up now to receive updates from our COP22 delegation. This year’s intergenerational delegation includes a high school student, a recent college graduate, and a teacher. By signing up, you will receive six e-newsletters between November 4-18, the opportunity to tune into webcasts, and links to the blog posts written by our delegation. For more news from COP22, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ClimateGenOrg and use #teachCOP22.
October is for Conferences!
Look for our Education staff presenting and exhibiting at these upcoming conferences, and share why you #teach4climate with our photo booth!
- Oct. 19-22, Madison, WI: NAAEE, North American Association for Environmental Education Conference
- Oct. 20, St. Paul, MN: MEA, Minnesota Educator Academy, our statewide teacher conference
- Oct. 27-29, Minneapolis, MN: NSTA, National Science Teachers Association Conference
Climate Minnesota Participants Share Climate Stories with Legislators
On September 21, community members from the South Metro shared their climate stories with local decision makers at a small private breakfast meeting we hosted. Story themes included extreme weather, farming, milder winters, and the growing community support for clean energy. During the conversation, 17-year-old Emma shared, “the data is speaking loudly here in Minnesota…we need everyone to come together and acknowledge the problem so we can discuss how to best resolve it.” Read Emma’s full story, highlighting her love of Minnesota winters, here. The conversation provided an opportunity for legislators, mayors, and major party running candidates to build bipartisan understanding and support for the issue of climate change. Similar conversations will be held in the communities of Rochester and Mankato in the coming weeks.
YEA! MN Launches our Network!
This school year, we are supporting high school students to engage in climate solutions both through the depth of our six-member Core group, and the breadth of our YEA! MN Network. Our first Network meeting took place on October 12, digging into themes of climate literacy and climate justice. Any high school student is welcome to join the next YEA! MN Network meeting, scheduled for November 14 from 6-8:30 pm. There are many ways to engage in climate solutions, and our next meeting will cover youth engagement in public policy, activism and education as meaningful ways to create change. For a full schedule of upcoming meetings, check out the YEA! MN Network Calendar 2016-17.
YEA! MN Alumni Join the 10-Year Celebration!
We are proud and honored to feature three outstanding YEA! MN alumni at Climate Generation’s 10-Year Celebration this December: Ethan Buckner ’08, Siiri Bigalke ’11, and Cole Norgaarden ’13. Each of these young people inspire us with their commitment to climate change and social justice. From campus to community organizing, to the UN International Climate Negotiations in Argentina, Qatar, and now Marrakesh, these alumni illuminate the impact that early experiences with YEA! MN had on their life trajectory. We look forward to sharing their stories with you in the coming months.
Join with Askov Finlayson to #KeepTheNorthCold
This fall, Askov Finlayson is continuing their support for our youth engagement programming through their Keep The North Cold campaign. Our Education Coordinator and YEA! MN Coordinator recently visited the store during their staff training day to provide an update on our youth programming and a climate 101 training. This year, not only are they donating $1 from every North product sold, they are holding several special events and sales to benefit our work. The Holiday edition of the North hat will debut November 3, and Askov Finlayson is planning another Weekend of Giving event post-Thanksgiving – stay tuned for more details! With a new line of North hats out and fun public events to attend, we hope you find some way to help Keep The North Cold!
Volunteer at our 10-Year Celebration!
Are you interested in helping us ensure that our 10-Year Celebration – the Hottest Event of the Decade – lives up to its name? We’ll need a stellar crew of volunteers throughout the night to make the event run smoothly; let us know if you want to be one of them! Volunteer shifts include dinner and access to the After Party with desserts, music and dancing. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested, and we will follow up with you to provide more details of the tasks and roles needed for the evening.
Thank you to our 10-Year Celebration Host Committee and Sponsors!
Now that the Paris Agreement has officially reached the threshold required for entry into force, where do we go from here and how do we ensure we keep increasing international ambition for climate action? This video explains the next steps in the process.