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September 25, 2020

Sept. 21-25 focuses on identifying steps to address climate change

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is recognizing Climate Week (Sept. 21-24, 2020) by identifying steps the agency is taking to address climate change.

Climate Week was first hosted in 2009 by The Climate Group in New York City. The environmental summit is scheduled annually when the United Nations General Assembly convenes and international leaders from business, government and communities highlight global climate action.

“Climate change is already happening – the simultaneous record-breaking wildfires out west and tropical storms in the southeast foreshadow what an unstable climate future looks like,” said Tim Sexton, assistant commissioner and chief sustainability officer. “Putting climate goals at the center of strategy and risk models is critical to avoid the most catastrophic impacts to our economy and environment in Minnesota.”

Transportation is the largest emitter of carbon pollution in the state, Sexton said. The agency’s most recent Sustainability Report outlines MnDOT’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 30 percent by 2025 (from 2005 levels).
Actions MnDOT is taking to reduce carbon pollution include:

  • Supporting clean renewable energy by leasing space to community solar gardens designed to produce up to three megawatts of clean, renewable energy and save the agency up to $175,000 through CSG subscriptions, https://youtu.be/GWdcYbnDU4k     
  • Creating the  Sustainable Transportation Advisory Council, which is co-chaired by MnDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher and includes 23 public, private and nonprofit sector leaders and elected officials to provide recommendations on how MnDOT can reduce transportation greenhouse gas emissions
  • Encouraging electric vehicle use by electrifying the agencies passenger vehicles
  • Providing transparency on electric vehicle trends, including the number of registrations and chargers in Minnesota counties, through the Electric Vehicle Dashboard, which will be updated on Sept. 28 for National Drive Electric Week
  • Re-evaluating the MnDOT approach to Complete Streets to support biking, walking, transit, and freight and reduce vehicle miles traveled
  • Improving agency operations by working to reduce energy use and fossil fuel use in MnDOT buildings, vehicles and construction equipment

More information is available at mndot.gov/sustainability/index.html.

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