Hennepin County, MN 2050 Climate Stabilization Goals

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Hennepin County, MN, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 8/21/07

Source File: Click here


(8Y) Resolution No. 07-8-334R2

WHEREAS, there is a consensus among many of the world's leading scientists that global warming caused by human emission of greenhouse gases is among the most significant problems facing the world today; and

WHEREAS, documented impacts of global warming include but are not limited to increased occurrences of extreme weather events (i.e., droughts and floods), adverse impacts on plants and wildlife habitats, threats to global food and water supplies – all of which have an economic impact on communities and their local governments; and

WHEREAS, leading scientists have projected that stabilization of climate change in time to minimize such impacts will require a reduction of global warming emissions to 80 percent below current levels by the year 2050; and

WHEREAS, currently the United States is responsible for producing approximately 25 percent of the world’s global warming pollutants; and

WHEREAS, many leading U.S. companies have adopted greenhouse gas reduction programs to demonstrate corporate and operational responsibility and have publicly expressed preference for the federal government to adopt precise and mandatory emissions targets and timetables as a means by which to provide a uniform and predictable regulatory environment to encourage and enable necessary and long-term business investments; and

WHEREAS, state, regional and local governments throughout the United States are adopting emissions reduction targets and programs through bipartisan leadership; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has endorsed the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which commits cities to reduction of global warming emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, and calls for a federal limit on emissions; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota Statute 136 – Senate File 145, as signed by the Governor May 25, 2007, adopted greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for the entire State of Minnesota of at least 15 percent by 2015, 30 percent by 2025, and 80 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group, directing it to develop a Minnesota Climate Mitigation Action Plan and to report recommendations by February 2008; and

WHEREAS, the State of Minnesota recently adopted goals to reduce the use of gasoline by on-road vehicles owned by state departments by 25% by 2010, and by 50% by 2015 from 2005 levels, and the use of petroleum-based diesel fuel by 10% by 2010 and 25% by 2015 from 2005 levels; and

WHEREAS, more than 100 county leaders signed a letter that was sent to the President in March 2006 calling for increased energy investment and development of jobs focused on clean energy technologies; and

WHEREAS, counties have a unique role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change through their regional jurisdiction over policy areas such as air quality, land use planning, transportation, forest preservation, water conservation, and wastewater and solid waste management; and

WHEREAS, the economic arguments for implementing climate solutions are compelling, from the near-term economic gains of energy efficiency to the long-term climate stabilization that can prevent irreparable harm from catastrophic climate change impacts; and

WHEREAS, many counties throughout the nation, both large and small, are reducing global warming pollutants through programs that provide economic and quality of life benefits such as reducing energy bills, preserving green space, implementing better land use policies, improving air quality, promoting waste-to-energy programs, expanding transportation and work choices to reduce traffic congestion, and fostering more economic development and job creation through energy conservation and new technologies;

BE IT RESOLVED, Hennepin County, joining other Cool Counties, will take immediate steps to help the federal, state, and other governmental units to achieve the 2050 climate stabilization goal by making the following commitments:

i. Create an inventory of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions from Hennepin County government operations and implement policies, programs and operations to achieve significant, measurable and sustainable reduction of those GHG emissions to help contribute to the regional reduction targets as identified in paragraph ii;

ii. Coordinate with relevant State of Minnesota Departments, including Commerce and the Pollution Control Agency, to reduce county geographical GHG emissions consistent with state law by developing a GHG emissions inventory and regional plan that reduces emissions from 2005 levels by at least 15% by 2015, 30% by 2025, and at least 80% by 2050;

iii. Work closely with Hennepin County’s Minnesota Legislative Delegation to support recommendations from the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group process that are consistent with the greenhouse gas reduction goals adopted by Hennepin County;

iv. Urge Congress and the Federal Administration to enact a multi-sector national program of requirements, market-based limits, and incentives for reducing GHG emissions to 80 percent below current levels by 2050. Urge Congress and the Federal Administration to strengthen standards by enacting legislation such as a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (“CAFE”) standard that achieves at least 35 miles per gallon (mpg) within 10 years for cars and light trucks;

v. Coordinate with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and other State Agencies as they identify regional climate change impacts and develop plans to prepare for and build resilience to those impacts.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Hennepin County will show its unique leadership by committing to telecommuting goals and instructs staff to come back with quantifiable goals for this county to demonstrate its commitment to telecommuting.

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