New statewide effort urges 2020 candidates to make climate crisis a top campaign issue
MN350 Action promotes No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge as litmus test
June 23, 2020
Days after a crucial measure of global warming reached a record high, MN350 Action today announced a campaign to urge candidates at every level in Minnesota to make protecting the climate a priority in their campaigns.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced this month that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in May were the highest in human history and probably the highest in 3 million years. Meanwhile, Yale University’s years-long study of attitudes about the climate crisis found most recently that 71 percent of Minnesotans worry that global warming will harm future generations.
“Taking care of our land and water has always been a priority for people in Minnesota,” said MN350 Action organizer Danielle Trajano. “Our communities are fearful about what's to come so of course they’re insisting our leaders act boldly to prevent more damage to our climate. We know that climate change is already impacting people’s lives, especially BIPOC communities and people living in the Global South. We need transformational changes that create a just transition to a truly renewable, healthy, sustainable world.”
For the second election cycle in a row, MN350 Action is the Minnesota sponsor of the national No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, launching today. Signers promise “not to take contributions over $200 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.” More than 2,000 candidates have signed nationwide, including presidential candidate Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
MN350 Action spokesman Brett Benson pointed to resolutions in the Minnesota House and Senate in 2019, when 86 legislators voted to deny that climate change is happening. “That kind of blatant climate denialism is not just an affront to all serious science in the past 40 years,” Benson said. “It’s also a dangerous abdication of leadership and an insult to Minnesota values. Minnesotans know the climate is changing and not just because we can see it. We need candidates, regardless of party, who’ll take bold action to stop the climate crisis, not candidates who'll vote to help the fossil fuel industry retain its power and protect its profits.”
The Yale research found that most Minnesotans want local governments to do more to stop the climate crisis. In 2018, more than 30 legislative, congressional and city council candidates signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. The campaign’s goal this year is to enlist 150 Minnesota candidates to sign as climate champions.
“We need a united front of representatives and community members to move Minnesota to an equitable clean energy future,” Trajano said. “We need Minnesota leaders who represent our values and will work to protect communities and their livelihoods. 2020 is an important year, when voters get a huge chance to decide how our future will unfold. That’s what the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge is about.”