After Trump announcement, Minnesota will proceed with its own climate change strategy

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After Trump announcement, Minnesota will proceed with its own climate change strategy

June 2, 2017

No matter the Paris Climate Agreement, Minnesota officials said Thursday that the state’s march to reducing greenhouse gas emissions will go on.

With a plan adopted in 2007, the state has been a national leader in pursuing an aggressive plan to reduce emissions of the chemicals that cause climate change. And though Minnesota has missed its targets in recent years, President Trump’s controversial decision to pull the United States out of the global climate deal struck last year won’t change what has been slow and steady progress, state environmental officials said Thursday. The president’s decision does, however, put future climate change leadership squarely in the hands of state and local governments rather than in Washington, D.C.

“As damaging as this decision will be, it will not deter our efforts here in ­Minnesota,” said Gov. Mark Dayton, echoing the reaction of many of the state’s elected officials. “We will show the world what we can achieve by working together to conserve energy, to use cleaner and renewable energy, and to leave a livable planet to our children and grandchildren.”

In effect, Thursday’s announcement means that instead of following the lead of the federal government, the state will look to local communities to tackle climate change, state officials said.

“It’s now going to be bottom up,” said David Thornton, an assistant commissioner at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Dayton was one of 12 governors who beseeched Trump in a letter to not pull out of the Paris Accord, which called for the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.

SOURCE:  Star Tribune

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