For Immediate Release
Contact: Kyle Klatt
Community Development Director
(January 25, 2022, Red Wing, Minn.) – The Red Wing City Council on January 24 passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency in its city, joining an emerging coalition of Minnesota cities taking action locally and calling on the state and federal government for support. The group includes 16 cities announcing now, with more to come, in addition to Crystal Bay, Duluth and Minneapolis, who previously declared climate emergencies.
The resolution further commits the City of Red Wing to its 2020-2025 Climate Action Work Plan, which has its goal of reducing emissions by 80% (from 2015) on or before 2040. The City of Red Wing also resolves to continue to apply GreenStep practices as a top-rated Minnesota GreenStep City. The resolution also calls on the state and federal governments to encourage investment in clean energy and to provide resources and support to help cities and other entities implement environmental solutions.
At the January 24 City Council meeting, members of the Red Wing Sustainability Commission and its subcommittee that worked on the resolution expressed that this was a historic declaration rooted in the values and goals already established by the City. Red Wing is also united with other cities in declaring a climate emergency, bringing greater attention to climate change, its consequences, and actions to take.
"Clearly the effects of climate change are being felt everywhere,” said City Council Member Evan Brown. “We feel these impacts here in Red Wing as well, as we see increased annual precipitation leading to more intense rainstorms and windstorms that cause more property damage and increasing runoff and silting in rivers, impacting recreational boating and barge traffic. Climate change is also helping the emerald ash borer migrate further north. These are the beginning effects and we need to act now to help mitigate and address these impacts."
Red Wing is part of an emerging non-partisan coalition of Minnesota cities focused on the adverse impact climate change has on cities’ economic well-being and quality of life.
Leaders from cities of all sizes, across the state, are taking action similar to what Red Wing is doing today. Notably, the five largest cities in the state are joining with cities with lower populations to draw attention to the damage caused by climate change and identify opportunities to begin to reverse it.
"Cities are the front lines in addressing climate change, but we need the focused help of state and federal partners to provide consistent, sustainable resources to help reduce carbon emissions as quickly and efficiently as we can,” Brown said. “We are quickly running out of runway in which to act. This really is an emergency. Every year we wait without action increases the likelihood we will exceed the 1.5 C warming that will have profound impacts for all of us and future generations. We need to act now and we need help."
The emerging coalition is facilitated by Great Plains Institute (betterenergy.org) with funding from the Energy Foundation and the McKnight Foundation.
Additional cities currently working on declarations are expected to announce in the coming months. Cities expected to participate in this first wave of announcements include:
- Columbia Heights
- Crystal Bay *
- Duluth *
- Eden Prairie
- Golden Valley
- Grand Marais
- Grand Rapids
- Minneapolis *
- Red Wing
- St. Louis Park
- St. Paul
* denotes city that has previously declared a climate emergency
The City of Red Wing is dedicated to creating a sustainable, healthy, accessible, resilient, and equitable community where every person feels at home.