How Minnesota businesses can go “All In” on climate

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When President Biden convened 40 world leaders for a historic virtual Leaders Summit on Climate this April, he announced ambitious new climate goals on behalf of the United States. Federal leadership on climate is exciting for all of us at Fresh Energy, and we were especially pleased to see that the Biden-Harris administration has prioritized clean energy and energy-related economic development policies within their climate plans.  

Our nearly 30 years of work driving bold policy solutions that achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies has proven to us that federal leadership is a key lever for climate action, setting the tone for how corporations, large and small businesses, state and local governments, and individuals and families across the country respond.  

Racing to act for climate

Much like Fresh Energy, the America Is All In (All In) coalition—a group of over 1,700 non-federal U.S. leaders that seeks to “activate a whole-of-society mobilization” to drive transformational climate action—knows that when corporations, large and small businesses, whole cities and states, schools, health professionals, and faith and cultural institutions join the federal government’s calls for bold climate action, we see real change. 

As we prepare for J. Drake Hamilton, senior science policy director at Fresh Energy, to attend the next U.N. Climate Conference (COP26) this fall, where the U.S. will join over 190 parties on the global stage, it is critical that the United States clearly demonstrates our dedication to tackling the climate crisis. Right now, the most impactful way for Minnesota businesses to demonstrate their commitment to climate is to support the Biden-Harris administration’s federal climate plans through the Build Back Better Act—the crucial budget reconciliation bill currently advancing through Congress.   

Over the coming weeks, the U.S. will continue racing to pass historic legislation that would help us rapidly decarbonize by transitioning to renewable energy. In particular, the Clean Electricity Performance Program contained within the federal Build Back Better Act—authored by U.S. Senator Tina Smith (MN)—is vital to meeting the Biden-Harris administration’s emissions reduction goals. In the words of the All In coalition: “Strong, well-funded climate provisions in the budget reconciliation legislation will provide the necessary springboard for the country to meet its 2030 goals.” 

The “America Is All In” coalition

Representing all 50 states and a total of 65 percent of the U.S. population, the All In coalition holds significant sway: Overall, coalition members make up nearly 68 percent of the U.S. GDP and represent 51 percent of national emissions. Thanks to the work of Fresh Energy and partners across the state, Minnesota plays a central role in the coalition. Minnesota-based All In businesses include 3M, Aveda, Best Buy, Cargill, General Mills, HealthPartners, and Target. The cities of Duluth, Minneapolis, Rochester, and St. Paul have also joined the group, in addition to the Minnesota Opera and the Science Museum of Minnesota. The Science Museum of Minnesota is the only Minnesota business on the All In coalition’s advisory committee, and representatives will be at COP26 in just over a month working alongside Fresh Energy!

J. Drake Hamilton addresses the crowd at the pre-COP26 “Road to Zero: Minnesota Climate Action” event in St. Paul, Minn., this summer. Photo/J. Drake Hamilton.

“We are incredibly pleased to see Minnesota-based profit and nonprofit businesses leveraging their resources by partnering with leaders across the United States to achieve measurable progress on climate,” said Michael Noble, executive director of Fresh Energy. J. Drake Hamilton adds, “A number of the Minnesota-based businesses who are part of the All In coalition have been members since 2017. This coalition exemplifies precisely the type of action complementary to federal leadership that is vital to drive the action that the climate crisis requires.”   

In order to slow the planet’s warming and respond to the ways the climate crisis impacts us here in Minnesota, across the Midwest, nationally and worldwide, we need one unified, national pulse—a shared vision of a clean energy future. The Biden-Harris administration’s Build Back Better plans are built squarely on that premise, and Fresh Energy looks forward to remaining a key figure as we push for bold domestic and international climate ambition that builds a healthy, prosperous, equitable, and sustainable future for all.  

Still have questions about federal climate commitments, where Minnesota’s climate action ranks on the global stage, which Minnesota businesses will be involved in the global climate summit, or what to expect at COP26? Join Fresh Energy’s J. Drake Hamilton on October 20 for a sneak peek into the global climate summit. Register today!