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ENEWS: “Code red” for humanity concerning climate change

Date Published: 08/12/2021

Author: Erin Wilson

“Code red” for humanity concerning climate change 

You have likely seen by now the many headlines about the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which states that climate change is evidently human-caused and “an established fact,” and forecasts Earth’s temperatures will surpass “a level of warming that world leaders have sought to prevent,” as the Associated Press reported. The United Nations has deemed the report a “code red for humanity.” In all five of the future scenarios the report examines based on carbon emission cuts, the world passes the 1.5-degree-Celsius warming mark in the 2030s— and in three scenarios, passes the 2-degree-Celsius mark, the AP article reads. The climate trends and disasters we’ve observed— such as raging fires, tropical cyclones, melting Arctic sea ice and permafrost, excessive heat, droughts and floods— will only worsen, the report says, and some of the damage is "irreversible for centuries to millennia.” All this being said, IPCC Vice Chair Ko Barrett (senior climate adviser for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) said "it is still possible to forestall many of the most dire impacts," but dedication to cutting carbon emissions is crucial. Read the full article in the Star Tribune here.

To find a comprehensive summary of the IPCC report, click here.  

Climate & GHG recommendations in the MN Equity Blueprint 

In light of the IPCC report and climate news, we would like to direct you once more to the Environmental Resilience chapter of the Minnesota Equity Blueprint— specifically where we discuss Minnesota’s green house gases beginning on page E-1 and state CO2 emission reductions and climate solutions starting on page E-12. Exhibit 2 (page E-5) shows that carbon dioxide made up three quarters (74.8%) of Minnesota’s green house gas emissions in 2016, and Exhibit 3 breaks down which state sectors create the most emissions. Nonetheless, Minnesota’s cuts to CO2 emissions from 2007 to 2016 were greater than the national average, as seen in Exhibit 6 (E-12). But we need to move faster to meet climate targets. To do this, we recommend: 

  1. Elevating Minnesota’s clean energy goals and accelerating momentum while regularly and transparently reporting on progress toward carbon-free power generation. 
  2. Customers and consumers pitch in.
  3. Joining the “Beneficial Electrification” movement.
  4. Reconsidering the long-term potential of nuclear power, in light of new technologies.
  5. Exerting pressure on national leaders to employ market mechanisms to incent emission reductions. 
  6. Investing in extended battery and energy storage capacity and encouraging new technologies that align storage supply and demand while avoiding added GHG emissions risks.

Read our full recommendations and view the above mentioned visuals in our Environmental Resilience chapter here

Ongoing MN Equity Map project

As always, we are searching for more stories to add to our Minnesota Equity Map so that it can serve as a way to highlight regional, racial, and environmental equity work happening around the state and connect people who want to create change in their communities. We hope to fill this map with enough stories that it can function as a powerful tool of collaboration and legislative advocacy. Please fill out this form if you or an organization/initiative you know of may be interested in being featured on the map. 


"Our report shows that we need to be prepared for going into that level of warming in the coming decades. But we can avoid further levels of warming by acting on greenhouse gas emissions.” IPCC report co-chair Valerie Masson-Delmotte (a climate scientist at France's Laboratory of Climate and Environment Sciences at the University of Paris-Saclay), AP 

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