We know that 2018 has been a year of occasionally unbelievable bad news, but there have been glimmers of hope as well.
Climate change continued to raise the stakes for many communities, as people in the Southeast and the Caribbean continued their recovery efforts after the devastating hurricanes of last year, and of course, climate change-fueled wildfires wreaked havoc and destruction in California. U.S. carbon emissions had fallen in seven of the last 10 years before the 2.5% increase in 2018. At the same time, climate mobilizations happened all over, from the People’s Climate March to the Global Climate Action Summit, to Minnesota showing up by joining the We Are Still In campaign, pledging to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
We were proud to send a delegation of sustainability leaders to the December climate change conference in Poland where the summit focused on accelerating implementation the Paris Agreement. Despite the actions of the federal government, across the U.S. we’re seeing support for a Green New Deal, with opportunities to create similar policies here in Minnesota and beyond. The Green New Deal is an ambitious plan to wean the U.S. off of fossil fuels and fully decarbonize, while creating jobs around the transition to renewables with equity baked into every step.
Our largest utility, Xcel Energy, recently announced a commitment to be 100% carbon free by 2050 and 80% by 2030 across it’s eight-state service territory; this demonstrates the type of courageous leadership necessary, even when the path to get there remains unclear. It’s a leap of faith and very much grounded in human ingenuity, our greatest renewable resource.
We’re thankful for all that we’ve accomplished together as 2018 comes to a close. We acknowledge you are taking action by following our work and providing financial support to Climate Generation. Thank you for continuing to support us with a year-end gift!
We look forward to continuing our momentum in 2019 in our communities, classrooms, and at the Minnesota State Capitol and beyond.
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
Bringing Data to Life with Art this February
2019 brings our second Climate Conversation with Three Rivers Park District. Save the date and join us on February 16 at Silverwood Park to discover how art is shifting the way we think about climate change and playing a valuable role in inspiring action! Featuring stories from local artists, this community conversation will share how climate change is affecting our natural resources and explore actions you can take to reduce our impact. This is a free event, with required registration.
Into the Classroom for Green STEM Education
Climate Generation staff are currently visiting Minneapolis Schools to prepare 8th-grade students for the upcoming STEM and Career Exploration Expo. Through discussion, our new Green Careers for a Changing Climate documentary, and interactive activities, students will understand what Green Careers are and how they are part of the climate change solution. Green STEM exhibitors will gather in the Green Alley on January 31st for the Expo to engage with students about the exciting opportunities in Green STEM.
Climate Internship: Mobilized for Change
We were grateful to have two students from the University of Minnesota join the Climate Generation team as interns for the Fall semester. Logan and Emily supported the research and planning of a future storytelling and climate action program in collaboration with communities. Learn more about the program and internship through Logan’s blog, as he reflects on the experience and complexities of working on climate change.
“My research helped me realize how environmental degradation, health disparities, racism, poverty, and more are all connected and reinforce each other through the invisible structures present in society.”
Save the Date: Talk Climate Institute
Now more than ever is the time for truth telling and bold action on climate change! So, how do you have meaningful conversations, and do it in a way that makes others want to join you?
Join us on March 25-26, 2019 for this two-day engaging workshop where you’ll learn new ways to have conversations about climate change that build respect and understanding. Discover your own personal climate story, and learn how to use it as a tool to inspire solutions. You do not need to be an expert on climate change in order to be a leader. Get empowered to make a difference in your community, family, neighborhood, and workplace!
Talk Climate Institute
March 25-26, 2019
American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO)
UN Climate Summit Highlights
Over the past two weeks, our four sustainability leaders represented Minnesota climate action at the climate negotiations in Poland. In our Window into COP24 program, leaders from Best Buy, Target, BWBR, and fig + farro blogged daily, webcasted back to Minnesota, and shared what they were witnessing at the conference. From attending the Sustainable Innovation Forum to watching Al Gore present, our delegates learned about the newest science and up and coming solutions, and experienced the landmark creation of the Paris Agreement rulebook. Read their blogs and watch their webinars to relive the experience!
Youth Leading Minnesota on Climate Action
Minnesota Can’t Wait is a youth-led campaign for urgent state action on climate change. Youth across the state rallied in solidarity with the federal Youth v. Gov lawsuit, taking the nation to court for endangering their futures. In Minnesota, they are working for solutions at every branch of Government: 1) Asking Governor-elect Walz to start agency rulemaking to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, 2) Writing legislation for a Minnesota Green New Deal, and 3) Seeking court action to stop Line 3. Learn more and join them.
Minnesota Reflections: Poland Climate Summit
Join our Window into COP24 delegates who attended the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland as they come together on December 19 to share key takeaways from the international negotiations, in partnership with the Institute on the Environment. Program begins at 4 p.m., with a reception following at 5 p.m. If you can’t attend in person, tune into the panel live stream.
With a new House membership comes a Green New Deal — and new attention to climate change on Capitol Hill
Our Executive Director Nicole Rom and Youth and Policy Manager Sarah Goodspeed spoke to MinnPost about the opportunities and exciting moment of a Green New Deal in MN and beyond.
Nicole Rom speaks to the #KeepTheNorthCold partnership we’ve had with Askov Finlayson in Northerly Mag.
Michelle Courtright, CEO of Fig + Farro, shares the ethos behind her mission-based restaurant and her goals for traveling to COP24 in our Window into COP24 delegation.
Our educators are looking forward to the possible implementation of climate change in state standards for the first time.
Our founder Will Steger chats with Askov Finlayson founder Eric Dayton on their #KeepTheNorthCold initiative supporting climate change organizations like ours and the hats that started it all.
The new proposed science standards for MN teachers includes climate change for the first time.
Our Climate Change Education Manager Jenna Totz comments on the proposed new science standards for Minnesota classrooms that include climate change for the first time.
Our Climate Conversation series in partnership with Three Rivers Park District opened at Gale Woods Farm with a focus on the connection between agriculture and climate change.