Minnesota’s Climate is Changing
The issue of climate change is currently the subject of intense political controversy and debate. Foremost in this debate is the question of whether and how to go about reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. Intertwined are the issues of whether the climate is changing at all, the degree to which human activity is responsible, and what the future climate will be. In Minnesota, extensive weather observations recorded over decades have led scientists to conclude that the climate in this region is changing.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has been the lead state agency in coordinating Minnesota's response to climate change. It is a very difficult issue to affect at the state level, but Minnesota is among the leading states in trying to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The MPCA is actively addressing climate change. The agency’s primary role in this effort is gathering and reporting data, assessing trends, and, eventually, factoring greenhouse gas emissions into permits, as required by new federal regulations. Minnesota's focus on GHG emissions is to promote clean energy and energy efficiency, both of which can create jobs, and develop multi-pollutant reduction strategies that improve overall air quality and achieve GHG emission reductions.
Policymakers are beginning to plan for the coming changes. The MPCA participates in the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team, formed in 2009. The team’s preliminary report was published in August 2010 and is available on the Adapting to a Changing Climate page.
The MPCA has provided the climate change issues information on this page to inform and assist communities, individuals, business, and local and state government.