On July 22, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges joined 60 mayors from around the world for a meeting with Pope Francis on climate change. The meeting was more than ceremonial. The Pope believes cities have the power to make a significant contribution to the fight against climate change as well as the often-related issues of extreme poverty, forced migration, and human trafficking.
Hodges was the only mayor of a Midwest city to be invited to the Pope’s meeting. It turns out Minneapolis is already taking aggressive action on climate change. The Minneapolis Climate Action Plan adopted by the City Council in June of 2013 sets ambitious targets for greenhouse gas reductions. Using 2006 as the baseline, the city pledges to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.
In order to accomplish these and related environmental goals, Minneapolis officials are taking a series of actions, including the City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership with Excel and Centerpoint Energy. But will these and other measures be enough? What will it take for City Hall and citizens to really make a difference on climate change and related issues of environmental justice?
Joining Truth to Tell to discuss these and other questions is Cam Gordon, who has represented the 2nd Ward on the Minneapolis City Council since 2006. One of the city’s strongest champions of clean energy and sustainable development, Council Member Gordon chairs the Health, Environment, and Community Engagement Committee.
Cam Gordon is a Minneapolis city council member representing Ward 2