We have a responsibility to adapt to Minnesota’s changing climate. Across the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, our programs are starting to act on opportunities to increase resilience of communities and the environment to climate change impacts. Resilience is the ability of a system or community to survive disruption and to anticipate, adapt, and flourish with change.
MPCA is taking a multi-prong approach to climate change adaptation:
- Agency planning
- Leading the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team
- Assisting communities
- Participating with local, regional, and national organizations
The MPCA Climate Adaptation Team (MCAT) was formalized as part of the agency’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan to help provide guidance and leadership within MPCA’s programs and to better coordinate climate adaptation efforts.
A series of facilitated Climate Change Risk Assessments are being conducted with MPCA’s programs to identify climate change risks and opportunities to strengthen resilience related to: customers and stakeholders; MPCA personnel and operations; rules, regulations and certifications; and the agency’s environmental mission.
- Background Information for Climate Change Risk Assessments (p-gen4-14)
- 2020 Climate Change Risk Assessment: Summary report – abridged (p-gen4-18)
MPCA programs are developing data dashboards of climate trends and adaptive actions. As each is completed, it will be linked in this section.
- Climate adaptation planning data dashboard. Explore climate adaptation planning by governmental organizations in Minnesota to address climate trends. View progress in the state overall. Search by planning type or watershed.
- Climate impacts to our waters. The pollution we put into our air is impacting our waters. Climate change is bringing major changes to Minnesota lakes
- Minnesota Stormwater Manual – provides guidance on climate adaptation best practices
- Air quality forecasting – alerts communities to wildfire smoke plumes
- Floods: Minimizing pollution and health risks – what can be done to protect businesses, homes, and families
Although the impacts from Minnesota’s changing climate are touching all of us, some groups of people are more at risk. MPCA funded studies for 23 cities located in every region of Minnesota to identify their climate-vulnerable populations. Every Minnesota community can benefit from enacting relevant parts of the Menu of Climate Adaptation Strategies to reduce the impacts of climate change, improve public health, and expand the local economy.
Climate adaptation planning surveys of all governmental organizations in Minnesota measure progress on climate adaptation and resilience planning as an indicator for the state.
- 2022 Climate Adaptation and Resilience Planning Survey Report (p-gen4-22)
- 2019 Climate Adaptation Planning Survey Report (p-gen4-15)
- 2016 Climate Adaptation Planning Survey Report (p-gen4-12)
Community-based projects and information resources to support climate adaptation have been funded through the Environmental Assistance Grant Program:
- Four-city climate adaptation plan — created by Albert Lea, Burnsville, Faribault, and Maplewood
- Replacing trees lost to pests and climate change
- Water Quality & Conservation Community Engagement Toolkit (p-gen4-16)
- Resilient Adaptation of Sustainable Buildings Report (p-gen4-17)
- Saint Paul Climate Action & Resilience Plan (2019)
- South Central Minnesota (R9) Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment & Adaptation Plan
- Morris Model - Community Resilience Plan v1.0 (2016)
- Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy
MPCA teamed up with the Georgetown Climate Center to explore steps that Minnesota state agencies and the Minnesota Legislature can take to enable more resilience at the local level, as well as some steps municipalities may already have authority to implement to increase resilience of buildings.
Other assistance is available from:
Participating with other organizations
- National Adaptation Forum
- Great Lakes Integrated Sciences + Assessments (GLISA)
- Metropolitan Council Climate Vulnerability Assessment
- Laura Millberg, 651-757-2568