Minnesotans care about protecting each other and our climate. We are issuing midterm climate grades with a call to the Governor: Minnesotans are depending on you to pull up your grades! We deserve “straight A” leadership.
We want to believe Gov. Walz when he says that he shares our values of caring for the earth and shares our commitment to creating a sustainable and renewable future for the people of Minnesota. But Gov. Walz is falling short of his abilities. The urgency and possibility of this moment call for bold action and transformative solutions, especially as the impacts of the climate crisis are amplified by existing structural racism, and often hit hardest in communities of color. We need Gov. Walz to do more for the climate, and we look forward to partnering with him to build a vibrant and healthy state where Minnesotans of all classes, races, histories, and identities grow and thrive together, today and in the future.
> Minnesota, not the world. Minnesota cannot solve a global problem alone. But our state must at least do its fair share by addressing the climate pollution we are producing right here in Minnesota. Our Governor must lead this effort.
> The Governor’s actions, not others’ reactions. Many needed changes will require cooperation from the Legislature, but these grades are based on the Governor’s actions — what he has proposed or what his agencies have done. They are not based on reactions, actions or inaction taken by the state Senate.
Minnesotans, no matter where they are from or the color of their skin, want a safe and prosperous future unthreatened by the climate crisis and the economic devastation it will cause. But those who profit from unchecked pollution seek to stop needed actions on the climate, including by spreading myths to divide us. These myths include that we must choose between prosperity and equity or between prosperity and climate action. Both of these are false choices. We will all be worse off if we believe these polluter-created myths.
Action to address the climate and to reduce inequality should go together. Both together will help the economy. We have an opportunity to “build back better” and build back equitably. These smart choices will benefit all Minnesotans and put us on the path to climate justice. For each grade, we have provided details on why we gave the grade and included a section called “More Benefits for All Minnesotans.” These describe ways in which current policies are unjust toward low-income people and Black, Indigenous and people of color, but we can build back equitably in ways that benefit us all Minnesotans.
Climate pollution comes from many sources — not just from coal plants. Minnesota’s climate pollution from transportation, energy and agriculture as well as our homes, buildings and heavy industry. In order to solve this multi-sector problem, we need multi-sector solutions. The subjects we grade Gov. Walz generally correspond to the sources of CO2 emissions in Minnesota.