To the Editor:
I am a member of the Minnetonka Climate Initiative, and I am writing to encourage the Minnetonka City Council to create a sustainability commission and a climate action plan.
The need for urgent climate action cannot be overstated. We are already facing evidence of climate change on multiple fronts, from increasingly serious weather patterns, to melting of the polar ice and destruction of global habitats that is threatening extinction of many precious species.
I love Minnetonka, and I frequently hike and bike on our beautiful parks and trails. I have two young granddaughters who also live here and I want their future in the city to be green and bright, with continued opportunity to enjoy our green spaces.
The City of Minnetonka has already been involved with projects and efforts to protect our beautiful environment, but more action is required. The initiative is a volunteer organization that was started by high school students who recognize that their future is at stake, and who want to take positive action to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
A sustainability commission of local residents and students, working with the city staff, will provide a needed focus for the city to develop a climate action plan and adopt climate goals for increased use of renewable electricity and a reduction in greenhouse gases, which contribute to a warming climate.
The city council has already agreed to participate in the Xcel Energy Partners in Energy program, which is a great first step, but it is not enough. We need a more comprehensive approach, and one that is aligned with other local Minnesota communities, many of which have already established environmental commissions and implemented climate action plans. We want Minnetonka to be an environmental leader.
The costs for the commission and climate action plan are relatively small compared to the city’s budget. Approving both of these for the 2020 budget will show Minnetonka to be the environmental leader that it wants to be.
Please urge your council member to vote yes on this issue today.