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While International Energy Agency calls for halt on oil and gas development, Minnesota builds more fossil fuel infrastructure

(St. Paul, MN) -- A new report this week from the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns the world that major steps, including a halt on oil and gas development, need to be taken to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Meanwhile, Minnesota continues to build the Enbridge 3 pipeline that will dump nearly 200 million tons of climate pollution per year into the atmosphere, locking in dirty fossil fuel infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

“While the international science community is begging the world to stop dumping more oil and gas emissions into the climate,” said MN350 Communications Director Brett Benson, “Minnesota is rushing headlong in the other direction and creating the means to pump hundreds of millions of tons of climate pollution into the atmosphere every year. Minnesota is heading the wrong way when it comes to the leadership needed to protect our planet for our children and our children’s children.”

The IEA report notes that to reach the goal of net zero worldwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 every nation would need to move much faster and more aggressively away from fossil fuels than they are currently doing. For instance, the annual pace of installations for solar panels and wind turbines worldwide would have to quadruple by 2030, the agency said. For the solar industry, that would mean building the equivalent of what is currently the world’s largest solar farm every day for the next decade.

A recent survey from Climate Nexus found a significant majority of Minnesotans back a transition to clean energy including Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. The poll of 573 registered voters, sponsored by MN350, found roughly two-thirds (66%) of Minnesotans think the No. 1 goal of Minnesota’s energy policy should be transitioning 100% of the state’s energy to clean, renewable sources. Solar energy was particularly popular, with 68% of all respondents and 54% of Republicans saying the state should produce more.

Worldwide opposition to the Line 3 pipeline has been fierce. Earlier this month nearly 100 Defund Line 3 actions took place across nine countries and four continents. Next week members of the group 1,000 Grandmothers for Future Generations are traveling thousands of miles from multiple states to Minnesota to call for a stop to the climate catastrophe that is Line 3. On May 26 they will converge at noon at the governor’s mansion in St. Paul to appeal to Gov. Walz and President Biden to stop construction.


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