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Mayor Frey announces first round of historic climate action funding

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December 18, 2023


The City of Minneapolis has awarded the first round of funding for the new, historic climate action work through the Minneapolis Climate Legacy Initiative (CLI). The CLI is Mayor Frey’s innovative plan to fund the City’s accelerated, equitable, and aggressive climate goals over the next ten years. Through the CLI, Minneapolis is poised to become one of the most sustainable cities in the nation. 

Mayor Frey announced the creation of the CLI in July after working with various community leaders, grassroots advocates, unions and climate organizations, and City staff. Last Thursday, the City officially opened up contracts with more than 20 community organizations, allowing them to get funding and services through the CLI in areas of the city that need it most.

“You can’t put a price on saving our planet – but the Climate Legacy Initiative triples our investment in climate work and paves the way for important climate initiatives across Minneapolis,” Mayor Jacob Frey said. “With this funding, we’re committing to years of ongoing initiatives to protect our planet and future generations. I am excited to see the first round of funding go out to incredible organizations that are partnering with us in this work, and I want to thank my Council colleagues who authored and co-authored this important Initiative: Council President Jenkins, Council Vice President Palmisano, Council Member Goodman, Council Member Chughtai."

The CLI provides necessary funding to implement the City’s Climate Equity Plan, which provides a roadmap for climate work over the next decade. The community-wide plan sets a goal for Minneapolis to significantly reduce climate pollution by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2050. It also includes plans to weatherize all homes, reduce utility bills, promote green job training, and plant more trees.

Beginning with Mayor Frey’s 2024 budget, $10 million will be invested each year to the CLI, which triples previous climate work investments. These funds are in addition to current climate funding.

“We’re committed to reducing the impact of climate change in our city and doing our part locally in this global crisis,” said Health Commissioner Damōn Chaplin. “Through the Climate Legacy Initiative, we’ll provide community members with financial assistance to install more energy-efficient systems, insulate and weatherize homes, add solar energy, and plant more trees. Providing these services keeps Minneapolis on the leading edge for reducing greenhouse gases and reaching city carbon neutrality by 2050.”

"The Climate Legacy Initiative creates potential to reduce carbon emissions while increasing energy affordability, specifically among Minneapolis residents who haven't historically had the means to invest in such improvements,” said Chris Duffrin, President of Center for Energy and Environment. “In partnership with this initiative, we are excited to continue helping the city's residents to strengthen their homes' efficiency through weatherization and cleaner, more efficient heating systems." 

“It’s been a privilege to work with the City of Minneapolis as they set out to achieve the City’s accelerated, equitable climate action goals,” said Gustavo Sandoval, Senior Project Manager at Elevate. “We look forward to not only helping them achieve their goals but also inspiring other Midwest cities in the process. The City has served as a national leader in climate innovation, we congratulate them on serving their community and being an inspiration to the region. We look forward to working together.”  

“Frontier Energy is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the City of Minneapolis to achieve greater energy efficiency and sustainability for Minneapolis businesses and residents. The City’s funding will help enable the intelligent use of energy today for a more resilient tomorrow,” said Frontier Energy.

Funding for the CLI will be raised via gas and electric utility franchise fees. For the typical Minneapolis household, the franchise fee increase will cost an additional $12 a year, or $1 a month, on average. This funding will go directly back to the ratepayers to lower energy bills, make energy efficiency improvements, and more.

Complete funding for the CLI and Climate Equity Plan will come from a variety of sources, including federal IIJA and IRA funds, state dispersion of federal funds and 2023 legislation, utility conservation and renewable energy incentives, and city revenue tools.

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