What do Business and Climate Change Have to do With One Another?

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CEEM brings the “Business Voice of Clean Energy” to Community Conversations on Climate

With climate debates making headlines nationwide, clean energy is increasingly a hot topic at the dinner table, at city hall, and all the way up to the Governor’s mansion. Polling shows that both Republicans and Democrats alike support policy action on clean energy and climate. Recently, Clean Energy Economy MN has joined community discussions on climate, offering a perspective that fewer voters hear, how clean energy is growing jobs in their neighborhoods.

In July, around 70 people gathered at the Eden Prairie Community Center to talk about climate policy. Policymakers met with their community to talk about the issues surrounding climate, and CEEM joined to talk about the business case. Elected officials included Eden Prairie Mayor Ron Case and City Council member PG Narayanan, Rep. Laurie Prior (DFL- Eden Prairie),  Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL-Minnetonka), Rep Carlie Kotyza-Witthuhn, (DFL--Eden Prairie), and Sen. Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie).

Benjamin Stafford, CEEM’s Director of Policy & Public Affairs, joined CEEM member companies EVS, Inc. and Willdan to discuss how clean energy is working in their communities. Benjamin shared that Minnesota’s clean energy costs are declining, jobs are growing, and Minnesota businesses are demanding clean energy. EVS and Willdan shared their personal experiences growing jobs and helping improve the built environment in their community. Rachel Williams from Willdan noted almost 40% of greenhouse gas emissions come from constructing and operating buildings. She noted that important policies, such as the state’s Conservation Improvement Program, are supporting energy efficient projects, and driving job creation  where she lives in Eden Prairie. Dennis Kim of EVS (see our feature here) shared his company’s success story built on the growth of solar, and voiced excitement for clean energy growth in Minnesota.

In September, Benjamin also joined Representatives Heather Edelson (DFL-Edina) and Steve Elkins (DFL-Edina), and Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Minneapolis), and Chair of the House Committee on Energy & Climate for a climate conversation. The overflow crowd at Edina City Hall heard how energy efficiency and clean energy were helping Edina save their taxpayers’ money, and grow jobs across the state.

Climate and clean energy impact Minnesota’s communities, and will continue to be topics of public policy discussions. Clean Energy Economy MN  is sharing the stories of clean energy businesses and employees in these discussions, working across industries and political divides to support the “business voice of clean energy.” CEEM is happy to join conversations in your community. Please contact Benjamin Stafford at bstafford@cleanenergyeconomymn.org