Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Monday that establishes a new “Climate Change Subcabinet” in addition to a “Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change.”
Walz’s office said the two new committees will “guide the Walz-Flanagan administration in the pursuit of bold and collaborative action to combat climate change.”
“Climate change threatens the very things that make Minnesota a great place to live – from our wonderful lakes to farmable land and clean air,” Walz said in a statement. “Building on the bold action our administration has taken already, this subcabinet will help put our state at the forefront of finding solutions to climate change. Together, we can tackle climate change, create good-paying jobs, and pioneer the clean energy economy.”
According to the executive order, the Climate Change Subcabinet will be tasked with identifying “policies and strategies that will put Minnesota back on track to meet or exceed our goals,” such as reducing “statewide greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors to a level at least 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.”
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop will serve as chair of the new subcabinet, while the commissioners of several other state agencies will serve as members.
“This executive order takes Minnesota to the next level of action against the devastating effects of climate change,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “We can only combat climate change if we do it together. This subcabinet will help ensure our administration works collaboratively across agencies, includes the voices of Minnesotans of all backgrounds, and uses every tool available to tackle climate change head on for our children and generations into the future.”
The Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change will advise the subcabinet on its duties, the executive order explains. The advisory council will be comprised of up to 15 members who will be appointed by the governor.
One of the “duties” of the advisory council is to “promote equity by examining how climate change impacts communities across the state and how potential solutions can address current disparities, incorporating the perspectives of people of color, indigenous people, rural Minnesotans, and other populations who experience disproportionate impacts from climate change.”
Gov. Walz announced in September that Minnesota will adopt California’s standards for low or zero-emission vehicles. Under the standards, auto manufacturers would be required to “deliver passenger cars, trucks and SUVs that produce lower greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants for sale in Minnesota.”
Walz said his administration is also pursuing “100 Percent Clean Power legislation,” which would require utilities to use carbon-free energy sources by 2050.
Activists from Minnesota Youth Climate Strike told reporters that they are “pleased and surprised” by Walz’s executive order, since he “has consistently ignored our meeting requests and statewide demands.”
Watch the announcement:
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