Minnesota takes bold climate action by requiring 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, Governor Tim Walz signed into law a clean energy standard requiring Minnesota utilities to provide their in-state retail customers with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. The legislation also sets important interim milestones of 80% carbon-free electricity by 2030 and 90% by 2035. Minnesota aims to achieve clean energy faster than any other state in the Midwest and is the second state to pass a 100% clean energy standard, joining Illinois.
“Passage of Minnesota’s clean energy standard is a historic step toward reducing air pollution, improving public health, and expanding clean energy across the state,” says Angela Seligman, Senior Midwest Regional Policy Manager at Clean Air Task Force. “Climate change affects agriculture, tourism, and families in Minnesota and across the Midwest. Today, Governor Walz and the legislature established Minnesota as a national climate leader by committing to commonsense climate solutions that are right for Minnesotans. This clean energy standard will transition the state to 100% clean energy by 2040, one of the most ambitious standards in the U.S. to date. It will also ensure Minnesota homes and businesses will be powered with clean, reliable, and affordable energy. The timing will position the state to attract private investment and federal funding that creates jobs, reduces air pollution, and further strengthens communities throughout the transition.”
Clean energy standards require utilities to have a certain percentage of their electricity generation come from zero- and low-carbon energy resources, such as wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, hydrogen, and facilities with emission controls like carbon capture and sequestration. These standards allow diverse clean energy portfolios that consider states’ unique political, economic, and social values as well as availability of natural resources. Technology-neutral policies like clean energy standards help advance the most cost-effective paths toward decarbonizing the energy grid while maintaining reliability.
“Today Governor Walz and the Minnesota legislature join a growing number of states with 100% clean energy standards that meet the urgency of climate change, reduce air pollution, and propel our national transition to a clean energy economy,” says Jeremy Tarr, U.S. State Policy Director at Clean Air Task Force. “Minnesota and other clean energy states can access billions of dollars in new federal funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to create clean energy jobs, attract private investment, and improve public health. State-level leadership is critical to ensuring the United States achieves its commitment to a 50% reduction in climate pollution by 2030 and net-zero climate pollution by 2050.”
States are innovative hubs for transformative climate and clean energy policies, and recently passed federal climate and clean energy policy has created even more opportunities for states to take bold climate action. To learn more about climate and energy policy opportunities in the U.S. heartland, read a recent thought piece from CATF’s Angela Seligman.
Samantha Sadowski, Communications Manager, U.S., firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 202-440-1717
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.