Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Climate Action Plan

I am very excited about the Climate Action Plan that was reviewed and unanimously supported at the Regulatory Energy and Environment Committee this week. It is set to come to the full Council on Friday June 28 where it may be amended.

The Plan, subtitled “a roadmap to reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions," offers goals and potential strategies to help achieve a 15 percent reduction in emissions by 2015 and a 30 percent reduction by 2025 from 2006 levels. It contains a wealth of information and specific strategies in three broad areas of 1.buildings and energy, 2. transportation and land use, and 3. waste and recycling. You can read the full plan here.

To get you started here are four categories within which the goals and strategies fall:

Significantly improving the energy efficiency of our commercial, residential and public buildings. Strategies are identified to improve energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings 20 and 15 percent respectively from a baseline of growth by 2025. City and other public buildings should continue to lead the way by aggressively pursuing cost-effective energy efficiency strategies.

Increasing our use of local, renewable energy. The plan calls for increasing our use of local or directly purchased renewable energy to 10 percent of the total electricity consumed in the city by 2025. The purchase of green power, and new approaches that make renewables more accessible and widespread, like solar gardens, will be pursued. Regulatory changes will be pursued to appropriately value and incentivize renewable energy.

Reduce vehicle miles traveled in Minneapolis while improving accessibility and building walkable, safe, and growing neighborhoods that meet the needs of all residents. Improving access to transit, making walking and biking inviting and safe, and building diverse neighborhoods are priorities. We will identify and promote cleaner fuels for our transportation system.

Reduce our waste stream by reducing waste, encouraging reuse, and increasing recycling of both organic and inorganic material. Improving recycling performance in the city, and expanding composting and the collection of organic material are priorities, with the goal of increasing our recycling rate to 50 percent by 2025. Residents will also have more information about the lifecycle impacts of their purchasing decisions, and we will strive for more efficient processing of our wastewater.

Here are some of the intriguing ideas from the plan:

• Use of property-assessed and on-bill financing to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits for residential and commercial building (p17)

• Encouraging net zero buildings, (p.22)

• Planning for more walkable “complete neighborhoods,” (p23)

• Constructing 30 miles of on street, protected bike facilities by 2020 (p26)

• Identifying products and packaging that are neither recyclable or compostable (p31)

This plan is a great step in the right direction and I look forward to helping implement many of its ideas and strategies in the years to come.


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