Global Warming: What Is Minneapolis Doing About It?

Policy Aide for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak

The City of Minneapolis continues to be a national leader on reducing the impact of global warming on our planet. Minneapolis’ sustainability work is guided by 24 indicators that measure our progress at creating a sustainable future for our residents. Adopted in 2006, these goals are now integrated into the work of all 18 departments of the City.

These goals frame the City’s sustainability work into three areas: perspiration (changing the way the City runs its own internal operations), inspiration (encouraging residents and businesses to modify their actions) and ovation (support the great activities of others). Recently, the City has accomplished the following:


  • Adopted a Green Building policy that requires: LEED Silver standard for new or significantly-renovated City-owned facilities; the new Hiawatha Public Works facility be certified LEED Gold; and green building training for City staff.
  • Hired an Energy Manager to audit energy use at City-owned facilities and implement energy-saving upgrades, with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions from City operations by 12% by 2012.
  • Reduced City fleet by 10% and replaced another 7% of City fleet with over 100 E-85 and six hybrid vehicles.
  • Opened an E85 fueling station in partnership with Hennepin County.
  • Installed solar photovoltaic arrays on three City facilities, and are currently installing a green roof on City Hall.


  • Mayor R.T. Rybak, with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and the national Blue Green Alliance, has launched the Mayors’ Initiative on Green Manufacturing to develop strategies to increase the number of green family-supporting jobs in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
  • Awarded 25 Grassroots Climate Change grants to local community-based efforts to inspire residents to reduce their CO2 footprints.
  • Adopted Access Minneapolis Downtown Action Plan that will facilitate more transit, bike and pedestrian use to and around downtown, including hybrid buses on Nicollet Mall.
  • Provided 2,500 trees to Minneapolis residents to plant on their property through City Trees program in partnership with Tree Trust.


  • Support the development of Midtown Eco Energy, a bio-mass energy facility that will provide enough green power to fuel 15,000 homes in Minneapolis.
  • Successfully lobbied for conversion of two of Xcel Energy’s coal-fired power plants to natural gas, including the Riverside Plant in Northeast Minneapolis. Conversion of the Riverside Plant began in April, and, when completed, will release 21% less carbon dioxide while boosting power to provide an additional 300,000 homes with electricity.
  • Partnered with Minnesota Center for Energy and Environment launch and promote the Minnesota Energy Challenge. To date, more than 1,100 Minneapolis residents and businesses have committed to reducing more than 11.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually.
  • Supported the Southeast Como Improvement Association’s solar water heater pilot program that installed twelve solar water heaters, each saving about 120 therms of natural gas each year. The City assisted by waiving the permit fees to make participating in the program more affordable.

Each year brings more urgency to the City’s sustainability work, and more innovative approaches. For more information, and the latest update on what in happening in the City of Minneapolis, please contact Gayle Prest, Sustainability Programs Manager, at 612-673-2931 or

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak celebrates the opening of the joint City of Minneapolis-Hennepin County E85 (Ethanol) fueling station.

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Act Locally

Minneapolis 2007 Greenprint Annual Report

Simple Steps to Reduce Global Warming

Take the Minnesota Energy Challenge,

Minnesota Center for Energy and Environment
212 3rd Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN
612-335-5858 o

Sierra Club North Star Chapter
2327 E. Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN, 612-659-9124

City of Minneapolis Sustainability Programs
Gayle Prest, 612-673-2931

Minneapolis GreenPrint Initiative

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