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Aligning resources to make climate action a countywide priority

The county’s Climate Action Plan articulates a framework to realize our vision for a climate-friendly future. As the county moves into implementation, we will demonstrate that climate action is a countywide priority for all departments, and we will align resources with this priority.

Aerial view of Hennepin County Government Center and other buildings in downtown Minneapolis

Creating work plans and budgets to implement strategies

Work plans outlining timelines, budgets, and responsibilities will be created for the strategies identified in this plan. Employees are already engaged in pursuing the plan’s foundational strategies to showcase early successes.

Applying the county’s Racial Equity Impact Tool

The plan is driven by the county’s priority of reducing racial disparities. With this plan, the county centers how climate change work is intersectional with racial equity work.

Staff will use the county’s Racial Equity Impact Tool to guide how we engage with community, particularly those most impacted by a policy, program, or budget decision, and ensure that we consider how the community may benefit or be burdened by those decisions. This process is key to understanding impacts and developing solutions.

The county will also help our residents understand the impacts from climate change, help residents, businesses, and organizations take action, and build support for collective action that is necessary to drive systems change.

To achieve our climate goals, we must prioritize climate-driven investments and find longer-term solutions to funding. Developing and including a climate analysis framework, which builds on the Race Equity Impact Tool, that can be applied in budgets and planning work will be critical to advancing this work with tight budgets.

This plan shifts the climate aspects of projects from “nice to have” to “must have” features. By accounting for a changing climate in the things that we build, we are protecting our investments into the future.

Director of Climate and Resiliency position established

The board has established a new director position of Climate and Resiliency. A director level position is critical to implement and integrate the countywide framework laid out in the Hennepin County Climate Action Plan.

Paired with prioritizing disparity reduction, this individual will operationalize the plan. The Climate and Resiliency director will work across Hennepin County departments and with external partners to develop and monitor metrics to ensure mutual accountability.

This position will also convene partners to further pursue collaborations for greater impact and raise a collective voice for climate policy to drive behavior and systems change.

Other actions

foundational strategies

How we get started: Foundational strategies

Hennepin County has a wide-ranging climate action plan that touches nearly every facet of the work we do. The foundational strategies serve as the best place for the county to get started.

Boy sitting on playground

Reducing racial disparities and seeking climate justice

The impacts of the climate crisis are not felt equally, making the response to climate change a justice issue that requires authentically engaging with communities, advancing efforts to dismantle systemic racism, and reducing disparities.

Person sweeping water out of flooded house, photo credit Star Tribune

Building strong, more resilient communities that can adapt to a changing climate

Because we are already experiencing the effects of climate change, we not only need to cut our greenhouse gas emissions but also adapt to a changing climate. Building a more resilient community ensures we are better prepared for more abrupt and challenging situations.