Saying it "threatens the very things that make Minnesota a great place to live," Gov. Tim Walz took executive action to combat climate change on Monday.
The governor issued an executive order for the creation of a Climate Change Subcabinet, comprising members from a variety of state agencies who will collaborate on the state's response to the changing climate.
It will also see the creation of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change, which will feature 15 members appointed by the governor to advise the subcabinet.
Scientists at the University of Minnesota earlier this year revealed the extent of the challenges facing the state as the planet warms, with the state likely to be more susceptible to extreme flooding, an increase in pests, and a reduction in native species.
On Monday, Gov. Walz said there was no time to wait or debate climate change, with action required urgently.
The subcabinet will work to identify policies and strategies to help Minnesota meet its goals to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as set out in the 2007 Next Generation Energy Act, as well as other opportunities to mitigate climate change.
The 2007 act had set Minnesota a goal of reducing emissions by 15 percent of 2005 levels in 2015, a mark it failed to reach, with Gov. Walz saying the state is also not likely to meet its aim of reducing emissions by 30 percent of 2005 levels by 2025.
"Climate change threatens the very things that make Minnesota a great place to live—from our wonderful lakes to farmable land and clean air," he said.
"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."
The subcabinet will be led by the Commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), with members including representatives from the state's commerce, labor, budget, agriculture, public safety, DNR, health and transportation departments, among others.