Convening on climate change provides opportunities to act

Last week, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits hosted a Convening on Climate Change to bring together a diverse range of nonprofits and other advocacy groups to talk about the impacts of climate change on low-income communities and people of color. This is an urgent conversation since there is pending federal legislation that could have both positive and negative impacts on Minnesota’s low-income families.

Over 50 people attended the convening, representing environmental groups working to reduce global warming, faith groups speaking up about climate-related social justice issues, labor and equal rights groups working for adequate access to green jobs, community groups working to oversee proper implementation of local investments in home weatherization, and a variety of low-income service providers concerned about provisions for adequate consumer relief to counter rising energy prices. Attendees got a chance to learn from one another about how climate change itself impacts low-income people disproportionately and the many ways that legislation may provide both opportunities and concerns for disadvantaged populations.

The convening, however, wasn’t just about learning…it was also about action.

Organizations in attendance had the chance to discuss and commit to a variety of action items that will allow us to work on this issue in a more collaborative spirit.

One important action that many groups committed to that day was to sign-on to a letter to Senator Klobuchar asking her to take the lead in shaping strong and fair climate legislation with low-income Minnesotans in mind.

It is not too late to add your organization to the list of those supporting strong and fair solutions to climate change! E-mail me by Monday, August 31st at if your organization can sign-on and strengthen our joint work on behalf of disadvantaged populations.

I’d also encourage you to call me at 651-757-3063 soon if you would like to discuss additional ways to get involved or learn more about this important issue. Remember, time is of the essence as we expect the U.S. Senate to take this issue up in September!

-Leah Gardner

About Leah Gardner

Leah Gardner was the Minnesota Budget Project's outreach coordinator.
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