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ENEWS: Nature & Climate Solutions, Trial Updates, Legislation Tracking

Date Published: 03/18/2021

Author: Erin Wilson

Natural Solutions for Climate

The Nature Conservancy has released the 2021 Nature and Climate Solutions for Minnesota, which you can read here. As laid out in the executive summary, Minnesota is positioned to lead the Midwest (and the U.S.) in combating climate change, but we still aren’t reaching the right targets. The report asserts that natural climate solutions can step in to change this, offering “an estimated mitigation potential of 26 million metric tonnes per year—as much as taking seven coal plants offline.” Additionally, “practical opportunities like reforestation and cover cropping can affordably help Minnesota reduce the severity of climate change. And, implementing just 25% of our NCS in Minnesota could yield $97 million annual revenue through a carbon market.” Having nature-based approaches can protect Minnesota from flooding and the urban heat island effect while keeping soil healthy, the report says— but the state must take initiative immediately, with support from “state policy, agency action, private sector climate responses, philanthropic support, and individual action.”

Additionally, for the month of April, Growth & Justice will be focusing the weekly newsletters on climate change and environmental resilience, so watch out for more environment-centric editions!  

Tracking Blueprint-Related Legislation 

See below for this week’s updates and new bills related to the Minnesota Equity Blueprint. For a full list of the legislation we’re tracking, click here


Human Capital 

HF 2195/SF 2111 Health carriers allowed to offer reference-based pricing health plans
SF 2010 Benefit and cost analysis of universal health reform proposal to assist the legislature in comparing it to the current health care financing system; appropriating money

Economic Development

HF 2139 Microenterprise development program established, reports required, and money appropriated
SF 2150 Workforce training and entrepreneurship investments intended to help close the state's opportunity gaps for Minnesotans of color appropriation

Environmental Resilience 

HF 2044/SF 1999 Minnesota Innovation Finance Authority establishment In House hearing March 15, in Senate hearing March 16, in finance committee hearing March 19
HF 2083/SF 2027 Future Fuels Act; transportation fuels carbon intensity reduction standard establishment In hearing March 16
HF 2174 Electric transit vehicle infrastructure appropriation bonds issued, and money appropriated  
HF 2200 Climate change grant program established to provide financial assistance to cities, and money appropriated  
HF 2211 Multifamily building composting encouragement and increase pilot project grant funding provided, and money appropriated  
SF 2033 Construction materials environmental impact study appropriation  
SF 2127 Environmental justice considerations in determining certain state permitting authorization  

Chauvin Trial Updates 

Jury selection continues this week in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in the murder of George Floyd. You can get this week’s updates from this WCCO article. The city’s recent $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family has caused questions about timing, as well as prompted Judge Peter Cahill to call back seven already-seated jurors in Chauvin’s trial for more questioning and consider delaying proceedings. Nine jurors are currently seated, leaving three jurors and two alternates to be selected.  

You can also take a look at this Minnesota Daily article about frustration over jury selection, which protestors say “has been riddled with racism” and “has unfairly struck potential jurors of color,” according to the article. 

Event Reminders  

This is a final call for registration for the annual Brandl program, ("The Uncommon Search for Common Ground"— Community Policing: The Way Forward for a Divided America), which happens tomorrow, March 19, from 11 a.m. to noon over Zoom. If you are interested, please register here so you have access to the Zoom information by tomorrow morning! 

The next TRUE Tuesday, titled “Organizational & Systemic Implications & Applications” and hosted by Camille Caster-Cyprian (Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Minnesota Council on Foundations), is March 23. The session, as well as other sessions in part three of the TRUE Tuesday series, will look at “how healing justice can be applied and operationalized within organizational equity work.” You can register for the March 23 session here. 


“It is imperative that we act now to preserve our Minnesota; our land, our communities, and our ways of life are all at risk. Nature is one of the keys to climate action.” — Nature and Climate Solutions for Minnesota 2021 report 

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