State and regional initiatives

The Next Generation Energy Act

The Next Generation Energy Act, under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 216H, was signed by Governor Pawlenty in 2007. The act, which had bipartisan support in the state legislature, requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 80% between 2005 and 2050, while supporting clean energy, energy efficiency, and supplementing other renewable energy standards in Minnesota. Interim goals were also set: a 15% reduction by 2015, and a 30% reduction by 2025.

Line moving lower from left to right with arrows indicating reduction goals of 15% by 2015, 30% by 2025, and 80% by 2050.

Specifically, the act includes energy savings goals to bolster our in-state conservation programs; support for Community-Based Energy Development; and climate change and GHG reductions. When the act was signed in 2007, Minnesota was ranked the number two state – second only to California – for passing aggressive reductions in GHG emissions. We continue to be a leader when it comes to emissions reductions, and the MPCA and other state agencies continue to work together to develop effective policies that further reduce emissions, support our state economy, and protect and preserve human health and the environment.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction report

As part of the Next Generation Energy Act, the Department of Commerce and the MPCA are required to report the emissions reductions achieved, as well as what is necessary to eventually achieve the full 80% reduction by 2050. The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction report highlights progress toward these goals.

2019 report

Past reports

Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities Initiative (CSEO)

The MPCA, under the leadership of the Environmental Quality Board, participated in the Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities (CSEO) Initiative, a report written to evaluate strategies for Minnesota policy makers to reduce GHG emissions while growing our state economy. Overall, the report identified that, although the policies Minnesota has in place have been successful, we are still not on track to meet our climate goals. To help meet those goals, CSEO suggested that Minnesota should increase energy efficiency and renewable energy, strengthen efforts when it comes to land use and mass transit, address agricultural production issues that affect carbon storage, and invest in protecting Minnesota’s wetlands, forests, prairies, and other native habitats.

The report includes specific policy recommendations to meet state emissions reductions in the short and long term, and also identifies innovative pilot projects, that if successfully implemented, could reduce emissions in the transportation, energy, and agricultural sectors.

In this section: