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Working with public entity partners for greater impact

County employee wearing safety vest loading trees into a City of Champlin truck

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges the county faces because of its significant environmental, societal, and economic impacts on both a global and local level. We know that no one entity can achieve the complex and evolving goal of climate adaptation on its own.

The success of the county's Climate Action Plan relies on engaging a broad range of stakeholders, including public partners, businesses, community organizations, employees, and residents to work together to have greater impact.

The county has clear authority in some areas of this plan, for example operating the county’s roadway network or managing waste responsibly. Other strategies in the plan will require influencing and supporting other organizations that have responsibilities in those areas, like land use and energy.

Engagement with public entity partners during development of the Climate Action Plan

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During development of the Climate Action Plan, county staff met with managers, administrators and senior leaders at Hennepin County’s cities, watershed organizations, park districts, and other regional and state units of government to learn about their priorities for climate work and opportunities for collaboration.

These partners emphasized that climate change doesn't recognize jurisdictional boundaries, so neither can we in response.

Public entity partners are very interested in pursuing mutually beneficial climate goals and encouraged the county to serve in a role of convener.

Climate Action Plan strategies for collaborating with public entity partners

Public entity partners partners encouraged us to pursue strategies with the widest agreement and clearest direction forward. These strategies include:

  • Fostering long-term, integrated planning that includes jointly collecting and analyzing data and modeling with a lens on health and racial equity
  • Reducing localized flooding and coordinate regional stormwater resiliency efforts
  • Decarbonizing transportation and buildings
  • Educating and engage the public in taking collective action
  • Raising a collective voice for climate policy at the local and state level

Public entity partners also discussed the importance of working together to look at the priority strategies at a larger-scale, particularly when it comes to climate adaptation and resilience work. The cross-jurisdictional parts of our built environment, such as stormwater infrastructure and transportation network, must be improved and better adapted to climate change holistically.

Convening partners to implement the strategies

As the county shifts to implementation of the plan, the county’s Director of Climate and Resiliency will be responsible for convening partners. This work will focus on pursuing, pursue collaborations for greater impact and raising a collective voice for climate policy to drive behavior and system change.

Other actions

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Engaging with the public and supporting community-driven solutions

Recognizing that transformative climate policies must be driven and supported by the public, the county is engaging residents and listening to how climate change is impacting them to collectively build support for solutions.

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.