Committee Summary: Joint Meeting of the House Capital Investment and Climate Finance Committees – The UpTake

By McKenzie Kemper, Freelance Journalist-in-Training

Recently, the Minnesota House’s Capital Investment and Climate Finance committee met for a joint meeting to discuss the impacts of climate change, as well as possible solutions.

Presenters included Dr. Katie Knuth, Dr. Jessica Hellmann, Frank Kohlasch, Sam Rockwell, and Ben Passer. Each presenter discussed their own unique understanding of climate change, and all expressed that we are experiencing ramifications of climate change in very real and costly ways. We, as a state, are getting warmer and wetter and our summers are lasting on average 5- 15 days longer than years past which is causing shifts in our precipitation and changes in our weather events. We have the opportunity to create Climate Proofed Structures, or Remodel Existing Structures to be more Climate Resilient if we work to address needs now and in doing so we can create jobs that work to jump start an economy hit hard by COVID, and generate equity as we confront Racism within the infrastructure of our state. It is time to be proactive by creating things like Green Roofs, which lower temperatures in Heat Islands, working towards being carbon neutral by 2030, and ensuring electric vehicles, biking, and public transportation are viable options for more population dense areas. We have the data and resources to navigate this crisis now, and we must look to the future rather than the past to create and implement effective change. The Joint Committee was given a lot to discuss, and no future meeting date was discussed however members of both committees expressed their desire and commitment to effect positive change and create a better, more equitable and sustainable Minnesota. 

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