By Siena Leone-Getten
Volunteer with MN350’s Communications Team

Through his inaction on climate issues, Gov. Tim Walz has consistently ignored what’s best for Minnesota’s future. The recent Climate Report Card, released by a coalition of 18 leading climate, environmental, community, and Indigenous organizations in Minnesota, grades the governor on nine areas in which he can move our state forward — even without action from the state legislature. These include supporting sustainable agriculture, stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure, and funding clean transportation. Right now, he’s failing. He’s received an incomplete, two Fs, four Ds, a C, and a B. We need substantial solutions to tackle damage to the climate and ensure that Minnesota’s clean air and water are preserved for generations to come. But Walz’s inaction, as these grades show, has put us much further behind than we should be.

Through my K-12 education in St. Paul Public Schools, I was instilled with the importance of being a steward of the land that we occupy here in Minnesota. It’s only fair that our leaders live up to that same value. It’s only fair that our leaders lead boldly because climate challenges affect every Minnesotan, regardless of race, class, or ZIP code, and especially the most vulnerable among us. Despite GOP state senate control, Gov. Walz can demonstrate his commitment to climate solutions beyond championing Clean Cars Minnesota. We need him to stand up and prevent new fossil fuel infrastructure like Line 3, create a multi-sector climate action plan with a goal of reaching net zero emissions, and support legislation that will establish carbon sequestration goals, prioritize soil health for farming, and much more.

Join me in urging Gov. Walz to raise his grades by taking bold action. If he gets to work on the important actions outlined in the Climate Report Card, Minnesota will regain its leadership on climate issues. For a state that prides itself on amazing natural spaces, Minnesota needs a governor who protects our environment and bolsters our infrastructure to handle the climate challenges ahead.

Siena Leone-Getten is a college student and a volunteer with MN350’s Communications Team. She is passionate about protecting and expanding voting rights and enjoys propagating plants, baking, and imagining potential home renovation projects.