By Roz Brown
July 2, 2018
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota is determined to meet carbon-reduction goals laid out in the Paris Agreement, even if the U.S. isn’t a partner in the climate accord.
President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. 13 months ago, citing burdensome financial obligations, even though each country determines its own contribution to limiting climate-changing carbon emissions starting in 2020. Since the U.S. withdrawal, more than 2,700 non-federal players have stepped up to declare their commitment to the “We Are Still In” campaign, including Minnesota.
Nicole Rom, executive director of Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, said there are economic benefits to pursuing solutions to climate change.
“So, the more that Minnesota can rely on solar energy, wind energy, and biomass and other biofuels to power our economy and move to renewable energy, the quicker we can both drop our emissions and grow our economy,” Rom said.
Rom noted that Minnesota is seven years ahead of meeting its 20 percent renewable energy standard set in 2015. She said the state is already on an aggressive path to reducing carbon emissions – even beyond the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Minnesota’s planned reduction is 80 percent by 2050.
States that join the “We Are Still In” campaign agree that, in the absence of federal climate leadership, they’ll keep doing what’s necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the amount of clean energy they use. Minnesota joins California, Oregon, Washington and seven other states to ramp up the progress being made across the country.
“This is important in a state where we don’t have a drop of oil or lump of coal, and we import all of our fossil-fuel energy into our state,” Rom said.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed an official proclamation in June making Minnesota part of the “We Are Still In” campaign. Other businesses, universities, cities, tribes, and faith-based organizations have also joined.