City Council approves funding source for City's ambitious climate goals

October 19, 2023

The City Council approved the funding source for the Climate Legacy Initiative today – a plan to begin accomplishing the City’s ambitious climate goals in the Climate Equity Plan.

Introduced by Mayor Jacob Frey earlier this summer, the Climate Legacy Initiative will raise $10.2 million annually for the City’s climate action work through increases in electric and gas franchise fees in Minneapolis. The increase in funding triples the City’s budget for climate work. 

For the typical Minneapolis household, the franchise fee increases will cost an additional $12 a year – or $1 a month – on average. Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy will collect these fees from customers and pay them to the City of Minneapolis. The City will in turn invest the additional revenue in the Climate Legacy Initiative.

All Minneapolis residents, commercial and industrial energy users will benefit from expanded programs like the Green Cost Share, which helps community members with financial assistance to install more energy-efficient systems.

Over the coming two months the City Council will consider adoption of the Climate Legacy Initiative’s second of two parts – the budget and programming categories that are funded by the franchise fee increase. Once the budget is adopted, the Climate Legacy Initiative will officially launch in January of next year. 

“The time for our City to address climate change isn’t tomorrow, in two years, or 10 years down the road … it’s today,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Our Climate Legacy Initiative is an innovative way to achieve our accelerated, equitable climate goals over the next decade—and includes historic funding for the weatherization of our housing, EV charging stations, green career development and infrastructure, and other plans to significantly reduce pollution by 2030. Minneapolis is committed to leading the nation in climate work – and the Climate Legacy Initiative will help us do this.”

“The Climate Legacy Initiative is the first step in the City implementing the Climate Equity Plan,” said City Council Member Lisa Goodman. “This limited franchise fee increase will create the dedicated funding we need to empower our amazing sustainability staff to do the important work outlined in the Climate Equity Plan, whether it be weatherization of housing, tree canopy work, or building up our staff to take advantage of the millions of dollars in grants being offered by the federal and state government for sustainability work. There is no more important work than ensuring future generations a healthy climate, and I am proud to have spent my last term in office leading on sustainability for our city.”

“I am committed to ensuring the programs created by this historic investment prioritize climate solutions that benefit our Black, Indigenous, and communities of color, our low-income communities, and our renter communities so that equity is truly at the center of our City’s climate action,” said City Council Member Aisha Chughtai. “Today’s unanimous Council approval is a big step in the right direction.”