Minnesota’s New Carbon-Free Energy Plan is a Win for Birds and People

The state is the latest to adopt 100 percent clean energy goals.
A parent loon feeds a fish to its chick sitting on the other parent's back. A second chick swims in the water beside them.
Common Loons. Photo: Joanie Christian/Audubon Photography Awards

ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a clean energy bill into law after it passed in the House and Senate. The new law requires the state’s utilities to get 100 percent of their electricity from carbon-free energy sources by 2040. Decarbonizing the electric sector will significantly cut Minnesota’s carbon emissions, which is critical for minimizing climate threats to birds and people. 

Audubon’s Survival by Degrees report shows that climate change is the biggest threat to birds and people alike. Adopting forward-looking clean energy policy is critical to reducing pollution, slowing the rise in global temperatures, and preserving the high-quality habitats that birds like Minnesota’s Common Loon need to survive. “Minnesota’s 100% Clean Energy bill, now signed into law, is an actionable plan that aligns with the state’s climate goals, increases the efficacy of climate action in other sectors, and begins to address climate change as a critical threat to Minnesota’s birds,” said Lindsay J. Brice, policy director for Audubon Minnesota Iowa Missouri.  

The Audubon Minnesota Iowa Missouri team has long supported the movement towards expanding clean energy in the state. Audubon MN IA MO sat on working groups for Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework, met with Governor Waltz to present and discuss Survival by Degrees, and supported this and prior clean energy bills. “Minnesota’s commitment to reaching carbon-free electricity is good news for the state’s climate-threatened species—and for Minnesotans who now have access to a more sustainable future,” said Gary Moody, Audubon’s director of state and local climate strategy. “We will continue to advocate for responsible clean energy policy like this in the Midwest and throughout the country.”  

Minnesota joins the growing list of states and territories that have adopted 100 percent clean energy goals—including Illinois, New Mexico, Connecticut, and Washington. This comes at a time when 76 percent of Minnesotans report feeling concerned about climate change and 60 percent are interested in seeing increased use of wind, solar, and other renewable energy, according to a University of Minnesota poll

More about Audubon’s policy on renewable energy can be found here.    

About Audubon
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety. 

Media Contact:
Megan Moriarty, megan.moriarty@audubon.org