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Climate change is a global phenomenon with local impacts. It presents one of the most profound challenges of our time. There is broad, international consensus among climate scientists that the Earth’s climate system is being destabilized because of increasing greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. Two changes to Minnesota’s climate are occurring already: shorter winters with fewer cold extremes, and more heavy and extreme precipitation.
The primary changes to climate characteristics for the City of Edina specifically include:
From 1980 through 2018, the City has experienced:
Some of the most significant changes in the climate relate to variability.
Climate variability can be seen in the changes in annual precipitation for Edina. Overall annual precipitation has increased; however, this increase is not evenly distributed throughout the year. Fall and winter precipitation have increased up to 15.5%, while spring and summer precipitation have remained nearly unchanged. The City’s climate is anticipated to continue to warm through this century and beyond.
According to the City’s Climate Change Survey, 68% of community members have been personally impacted by the effects of climate change. The Climate Action Plan is a community plan. There is emphasis on municipal and individual action to reach the goals set out in the Plan. Just as climate change is a global issue with local impacts; local action can have a global impact. There is a level of accountability at stake here as well. The United States is one of the top emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. There is a high level of responsibility for the United States and its residents to reduce their share of emissions and decrease the impacts of climate change at the local and global level.
Climate action plans are a tool used by organizations, communities, and cities to respond to a changing climate. A city’s characteristics such as economy, resources, and natural landscape are factors in creating strategies for mitigating (reducing) and adapting (adjusting) to local climate change impacts.
The creation and implementation of a Climate Action Plan (CAP) is an organized way for the City to contribute to solving the global climate crisis. CAPs can also help a community’s resident and business communities create improved resilience to the current and future impacts and risks of climate change. Climate action can also create investment in innovation, jobs and actions that save households and businesses money while improving quality of life—especially for community members on the frontlines of climate change
The City Council approved Edina's first Climate Action Plan in December 2021. The plan includes 200 actions that can be taken in Edina to meet goals by 2030. The City’s greenhouse gas emission goals target a reduction in City operations and communitywide emissions by 45 percent below 2019 levels and achieve net zero emissions by 2050, in line with the 2015 global Paris Agreement.
Goals are arranged under the categories: Transportation & Land Use, Water & Wastewater, Buildings & Energy, Local Food & Agriculture, Green Space & Trees, Climate Health & Safety and Climate Economy.
Click here to read the plan!
The Plan was developed with a 26-person planning team consisting of residents, business community members, institutional representatives, City commission members, and City staff. The plan was developed from April 2021 through September 2021 through planning workshops. Residents most vulnerable to climate change shared their input through four focus groups. The full Edina community was invited to share their input through two surveys, engagement at the summer Farmer’s Market, and through comments on the draft plan.
The Community Climate Action Report has been created to track progress within Edina on sustainability and Climate Action Plan goals. Check it out to see updates on each section of the Climate Action Plan!
There are many things that you and your family can do! The Climate Action Plan has eight different sectors with corresponding goals and strategies. Start with finding ways to reduce your impact in each area: Transportation, Energy, Waste, Water, Local Food, Greenspace, Climate Health, and Economy. There are also additional resources on the Better Together site that provide actionable items for individuals, students, groups, etc. to participate in. You can find these resources and the full Climate Action Plan here!
The “CAP-in-a-Box” toolbox is designed to help any community member introduce Edina’s Climate Action Plan to a small group and lead a discussion of ideas for strategies and activities they can do to help fight climate change. Community groups in Edina and community members interested in spreading the word and taking action on climate change should use this toolbox. Community groups may include interest groups like garden clubs, recreation leagues, youth groups, faith communities, civic groups or neighborhood groups.
Click here to check out the Resource box on the right-hand side of the site, called “Host a CAP-in-a-box at your next community meeting!”