by Evan Stambaugh
Nearly 20 jurisdictions throughout the state of Minnesota are preparing a coordinated effort to declare a “climate emergency” this coming January.
The summary lists 17 local governments involved in this effort, adding that it only serves as a partial list: Bloomington, Columbia Heights, Eden Prairie, Edina, Falcon Heights, Golden Valley, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Lauderdale, Maplewood, Moorhead, Morris, Northfield, Red Wing, Robbinsdale, Rochester, and St. Louis Park.
The jointly declared “emergency” is expected to come on either Jan. 24 or 25, 2022.
“Local governments of all sizes, and in all regions of Minnesota will join in […] calling for immediate action at all levels of government to address the climate crisis,” reads the summary. “By acting simultaneously, these state-wide localities expect to amplify their impact, speaking together to urge local, state and federal action.”
A resolution template lists a June drought, concomitant water restrictions, and air quality from forest fires as problems induced by climate change. It also says “historically marginalized or underserved communities” will bear the greatest burden from an “inadequate response to the climate crisis.”
Jurisdictions that declare a climate emergency next January will resolve to work for a “just transition and climate emergency mobilization effort,” according to the resolution. This could take the form of climate action plans and sustainability committees, the implementation of “best practices” suggested by GreenStep, and the creation of projects to “take advantage of state and federal climate action funding opportunities.”
The resolution also calls on the Minnesota legislative and executive branches to support the efforts of the participating cities, including the provision of funds to help them develop and implement their “climate action plans.”
Three Minnesota cities have previously declared a climate emergency. Crystal Bay was the first to do so in April 2019, while Minneapolis followed suit eight months later. Duluth also declared one in April of this year.
– – –
Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy. In 2016 he was a volunteer, intern, and field assistant for Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign.