Key findings the research and assessment phase
The first phase of the county's climate action plan development involved conducting research and assessing climate change impacts and greenhouse gas emissions.
Review a presentation (PDF) developed for county commissioners that summarizes key findings from the vulnerability assessment and greenhouse gas emissions sources and trends in Hennepin County.
Climate vulnerability assessment
Hennepin County contracted with Barr Engineering to complete the climate change vulnerability assessment based on the experienced and projected climate hazards as outlined by the Minnesota State Climatology Office.
Members of the climate action plan team coordinated with Hennepin County GIS and Barr Engineering to multiple sets of data combine data to create an initial assessment of where county residents and infrastructure are vulnerable to precipitation and temperature changes.
Data used includes:
- Data from across Hennepin County's lines of business
- Census data
- Centers for Disease Control human vulnerability data
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Environmental Justice data
- Metropolitan Council’s areas of concentrated poverty and climate vulnerability data
- FEMA flood plain maps
- University of Minnesota urban heat island analysis
The key findings of the assessment were shared with the county’s climate action teams as they developed objectives and strategies. The final vulnerability assessment report is scheduled to be finalized and available in fall 2020.
Countywide greenhouse gas inventory
Hennepin County contracted with LHB, Inc. to update its greenhouse gas inventory, which builds on the county’s 2006 to 2012 inventory that was completed as part of the Cool Counties Initiative.
The inventory summarizes community-wide emissions, not just those from county operations. The county is using ICLEI’s U.S. Community Protocol for its inventory.
Most local communities use this protocol, so it is most comparable with communities across the U.S. It's also customizable and can be modified to be comparable with the Global Protocol, the other main competing protocol. This enables the inventory to be customized to best suit the county's goals and balances completeness with relevance.
The updated inventory includes all elements required by the U.S. Community Protocol, but also expands the scope to evaluate other emissions and emissions reductions including those resulting from expanded transit, district energy, tree canopy enhancements and natural resource preservation efforts.
Staff are working to complete the final report for the inventory. A final step being taken is to analyze emission scenarios more closely to examine the best opportunities for emissions reductions in Hennepin County. The final report will be available in fall 2020.