From: Emilie Falc
Winona Climate Action Network (CAN) applauds the Walz administration’s support of legislation to move the state to 100-percent clean energy.
Winona CAN, as a greater-Minnesota partner of MN350 and MN350 Action, applauds the Walz-Flanagan administration’s endorsement of legislation requiring Minnesota’s utilities to provide 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, with a plan that prioritizes renewable energy.
Governor Walz’s announcement “is welcome leadership and a big step toward moving us to a clean-energy economy,” said MN350 Climate Justice Organizer Mysti Babineau.
“We will work hard to raise awareness in every corner of the state to make sure this legislation passes, to make the transition just and to do what it takes to win climate justice.”
Winona CAN supports the goals of the 100-percent renewable energy bill, and we know many of our fellow Southeast Minnesotans agree, based on our conversations at public events and neighborhood canvassing. By accelerated harvesting of local solar, wind and geothermal energy our state would increase our energy independence, and slow or stop the rising costs of electricity for consumers. At the same time, a large-scale renewable energy initiative would boost local green job growth, while respecting the rights of workers to have a decent wage and to have a voice through collective bargaining in their workplace.
Many of our community members who were polled at Earth Day and students who were polled at our recent Winona State University Sustainability Fair agreed that we need to keep up with green technology. At our home, we invested in an eight-kilowatt solar-panel system that harvests energy for us and feeds the surplus into the grid, benefiting our community and paying us back over time. We want to make sure Minnesotans can continue to invest in their own solar or a community solar garden.
MN350 and MN350 Action have seen a surge of interest in climate justice in the past 12 months throughout Minnesota.
The announcement from Governor Walz comes after a federal climate report in November acknowledged the scientific consensus that we have only a short window to craft solutions to our climate crisis. We know that there’s no time to waste, as we continue to hope for a habitable planet for our children and grandchildren.
“The bold leadership from Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan puts Minnesota into the climate justice leaders circle,” Babineau said. “It also serves future generations by preventing further damage to our climate.”
Midwestern states such as Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan also are developing plans for 100-percent clean energy. The endorsement from Governor Walz, along with likely bipartisan support in the Legislature, makes Minnesota’s 100-percent renewable standard both visionary and realistic.
“Minnesota has a history of working hard to prevent damage to our climate,” said MN350 Executive Director Kevin Whelan. “We worked together as a state to achieve our goal of 25-percent renewables by 2025 seven years early. People from across the state will continue speaking out to show the Legislature that Minnesotans expect their state to lead on the transition to a healthy, livable, clean-energy future.”
About Winona CAN
Winona CAN is a regional climate action network that seeks to bring together community members to promote necessary changes in policy and behaviors that will have the effect of reducing global warming and reducing the risks associated with climate change and greenhouse gasses.
About MN350, MN350 Action
MN350 is a statewide group with 20,000 supporters working to make Minnesota a national leader in a just transition to a clean-energy economy. MN350 Action is its political and advocacy arm.