City Council approves Climate Equity Plan

July 20, 2023

The Minneapolis City Council approved the City’s Climate Equity Plan today, furthering the City’s ambitious health and sustainability goals, while keeping Minneapolis on the leading edge for reducing greenhouse gases and reaching city carbon neutrality by 2050.

“The Climate Equity Plan gives us the vision and aspirational targets based on science,” said Deputy Commissioner Patrick Hanlon, Minneapolis Health Department. “We all need to work together as a community with an equity focus to reach these high and necessary goals.”

“I am in full support of the Climate Equity Plan. I am so proud of the City’s Health Department staff and community members who collaborated to develop this thorough and ambitious plan to address climate change,” said Council Member LaTrisha Vetaw (Ward 4.) “I look forward to working with City staff and the community to move this plan from paper to reality.”

Making your voice heard
By creating a Climate Equity Plan for all, the City strives to achieve an environmentally just, resilient, low-carbon and equitable city. Community member, partner, and stakeholder input was crucial in creating the final plan.

During the public comment period (April 19-June 5), the Health Department received more than 1,000 responses with more than 1,800 comments. The top three comments were:

  • Create a more aggressive timeline
  • Create bigger, more measurable, and more transparent goals
  • Show which departments are accountable for carrying out the plan 

The top five topics of importance included:

  • Energy Systems (24%)
  • Healthy Homes (22%)
  • Transportation (14.5%)
  • Green Buildings (9%)
  • Green economy and workforce (8%)

Environmental justice and equity
Climate change significantly impacts underserved communities, including our Green Zones. The City seeks to improve the health and well-being of those living in Green Zone communities who are disproportionately impacted by pollution, racism, poverty, and other factors. The Climate Equity Plan will:

  • Ensure increased, dedicated, and equitable funding for historically under-resourced communities and Green Zones.
  • Engage diverse communities in localized community spaces, providing transparent, multilingual communication and resources to include residents in the decision-making process.
  • Create green and union job opportunities with intentional investments in workforce development strategies that target Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.
  • Address systemic harms experienced by marginalized groups.

Results from feedback
As a result of the feedback, the final plan includes:

  • A 12-month working timeline to show what areas of work will begin immediately
  • Goals, strategies, and actions that clearly connect how work will achieve emission reduction targets
  • A clear list of departments and entities responsible for implementing the plan
  • A mechanism for tracking and publishing data for funding, programs, and environmental justice outcomes
  • On-going, dedicated climate funding that incorporates community input
  • Partnerships with unions, trades, and community organizations to create living wage green jobs
  • Information on improving indoor and outdoor air quality

Reducing impact on climate change
By working together, reducing climate change will become reality. The seven strategies that will be prioritized to achieve the planned outcomes by 2030 are:

  • Insulate and weatherize 5,000 homes, prioritizing homes in Green Zones.
  • Eliminate the number of households with an energy burden over 6%.
  • Reduce fossil (natural) gas emissions by 35%.
  • Train and support 1,000 Minneapolis community members in new green jobs.
  • Expand green space, tree planting and local and sustainable food systems.
  • Reduce emissions from commercial buildings by 75%.
  • Achieve 100% renewable electricity citywide, with 30% coming from local solar energy.