$1 A Month To Save The Climate in Minneapolis

Minneapolis plans to be carbon-neutral by 2050. Its path forward is what it calls its Climate Equity Plan. The City Council believes it has found a way to improve the chances of reaching this goal. 

Is this a realistic plan or only a press release to get attention, and perhaps attention that is unwarranted? The City Council has passed a bill to increase Individual residence utility charges by $1 monthly.  This will fund housing weatherization projects and reduce residential energy use. Mayor Jacob Frey says the effort will provide $10.2 million a year when all those dollars are added together.

According to Route Fifty:

Utility companies Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy will collect and pay the additional $1 as a franchise fee to the city government. The city in turn will use the revenue from the rate increase to fund insulating, electrifying and retrofitting Minneapolis buildings to improve their energy efficiency.

The Climate Equity Plan is 98 pages long. Among the authors’ statements is that it puts “people first” in a race to save the planet. The document covers the basics, writing that the world is engulfed by drought, flood, and rising pollution. It also has extensive maps of Minneapolis and the areas where help is most needed. The majority of the assistance will be distributed to lower-income areas of the city.

Minneapolis city management says it has a long way to go to meet its future climate targets. Before the passage of this legislation, Minneapolis’ trajectory to meet these 2050 carbon-neutrality goals would not have been possible. Even with $1 per household per month, there will not be enough financial resources to fix the climate problems in a city with 425,096 residents, which covers 57 square miles. 

If this novel plan only raises public awareness, it will be a first step to change city and resident behavior in Minneapolis.

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