Contact: Colleen Coyne, 651-297-7363
Saint Paul, Minn. -- Four months before presenting its recommendations to Governor Pawlenty and the legislature, the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group (MCCAG) is making good progress, says David Thornton, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) assistant commissioner. The 56-member group will host its fourth public meeting to consider more than 50 "straw proposals" outlining actions to reduce greenhouse gases.
The meeting will be held on Sept. 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel St. Paul-Riverfront.
"We think we have some excellent proposals which, when taken together, will help us meet the CO2 reduction goals of the legislature," says Edward Garvey, deputy commissioner of the Department of Commerce's Energy and Telecommunications Division, and co-coordinator of MCCAG along with Thornton. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and most scientists believe that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main contributor to climate change.
The emission-reduction proposals selected by MCCAG will undergo data analysis for feasibility, costs, quantifiable benefits and implementation options. "The final package that we present to the legislature will be the first draft of the state's Climate Change Action Plan," adds Thornton.
Minnesota has earned kudos from staff at the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), a nonprofit that facilitates and provides technical assistance to states nationwide, including MCCAG.
"The state was already ahead of the curve with conservation and renewable energy projects, so it follows that you've been quicker than others to generate a solid list of options to reduce CO2 emissions," says Tom Peterson, CCS executive director. "Also, the state's greenhouse gas inventory is the most comprehensive we've seen." The inventory is an annual breakdown of all the greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
For more information about MCCAG, go to www.mnclimatechange.us/MCCAG.cfm; to get e-mail updates on the progress of the group, go to www.pca.state.mn.us/about/councils/climatechange-listserv.html; for background information on climate change, go to www.pca.state.mn.us/hot/globalwarming.html