Environmental Congress

2019 Minnesota Environmental Congress

Registration now open  Sold out 2019 Minnesota Environmental Congress!

When: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 | 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Centennial Student Union | Minnesota State University – Mankato | 620 South Road W, Mankato, MN 56001

Free Parking in Visitor Parking Lot 4, located off of Ellis Avenue and South Road W, on campus. This parking lot is located directly opposite of the main entrance to the Centennial Student Union. MNSU - Mankato Campus Map

Intense flooding, higher temperatures, and more extreme storms – Minnesotans are already feeling the effects of our changing climate. As leading climate scientists urge swift and decisive action to safeguard our future, Minnesotans are engaging at all levels to advance leadership on climate change. Join us at the Environmental Congress to learn about innovative work happening across the state and explore ways to apply solutions in your community.

This free, daylong conference will include sessions on community preparedness, innovative practices in agriculture, transitioning to a low-carbon transportation system, protecting our water resources, and more. Participants will lead discussion groups in the afternoon and contribute ideas on how we can work together in new, equitable, and creative ways to take meaningful action. The Congress is a space to harness the energy and hopes of fellow Minnesotans and cooperatively build a healthy future for our communities, wildlife, lands, and waters.

Goals of the Environmental Congress:

* Explore leading science on climate change and what it means for Minnesotans

* Advance mutual learning among community members, state and local leaders, and a broad range of professionals on pressing climate policy issues

* Highlight innovative work taking place across Minnesota

* Create opportunities for dialogue and shared understanding

* Inspire meaningful climate action at the individual, community, and local and state government levels

Congress Agenda:

8:00 am - 9:00 am: Registration and Refreshments

9:00 am - 10:00 am: Plenary

10:10 am - 10:55 am: Breakout Sessions (Session Topics Listed Below)

11:05 am - 11:50 am: Breakout Sessions (Session Topics Listed Below)

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm: Governor Tim Walz & Cabinet Members Panel

1:55 pm - 2:40 pm: Open Space Dialogue Introduction

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm: Open Space Dialogues

3:50 pm - 4:30 pm: Open Space Dialogue Closing

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm: Networking Hour

Session Topics:

Climate Justice, Energy & Equity: This session will create space for conversation on removing structural inequities and bringing in culturally specific community solutions and needs while developing new policies, programs, and resources related to energy efficiency, clean energy, and other climate-related issues.

The Future of Minnesota’s Clean Water in a Changing Climate: How will Minnesota’s changing climate affect our freshwater? What can we do to protect water quality and quantity for future generations? This session will present new research on climate change as it relates to Minnesota’s drinking water, recreation, agriculture, and water infrastructure. We will hear how these changes are impacting communities and the everyday lives of Minnesotans. The session will also share recent planning efforts by the state and how you can get involved with supporting sustainable water management solutions.

Food, Fiber, and Fuel: Providing Society’s Needs While Addressing Climate Change: What strategies are currently being employed and what new approaches are on the horizon that address climate change through innovative practices in food, biofuel, and agricultural production systems? This moderated panel of practitioners and experts will explore ways to meet the challenges of climate change while still providing for society’s need of food, fiber, and fuel.

Adapting to Climate Change: Innovative Strategies from around Minnesota: Minnesota communities are already feeling the effects of climate change, with some of the most dramatic impacts from extreme precipitation. How are local, state and Tribal agencies developing adaptation strategies to address threats to infrastructure, drinking water, and culturally important resources? What are lessons learned in the process? This session will explore recent efforts to adapt to climate change and will highlight diverse perspectives and approaches. Presenters will share strategies and tools that can aid local governments and communities dealing with the impacts of climate change. The presentations will set the stage for further conversation in the afternoon about how to take meaningful action towards resiliency.

Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation: Minnesota’s largest source of greenhouse gases is transportation. How can our State move towards a low-carbon transportation future? The Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation project began a conversation about reducing greenhouse gases in transportation. This session will include a brief overview of the key Pathways components: modeling, public input, and proposed actions and recommendations. Participants will learn about the new Clean Cars Minnesota rulemaking process and opportunities for public input. They will also hear from panelists about advancing low-carbon transportation options.

Climate Change and Biodiversity: Building Resiliency of our Lands and Wildlife: This session will focus on how to build biological diversity and resiliency in Minnesota in the face of climate change by focusing on wildlife and plant communities. Learn about how climate change is affecting forests, deer, and insects and how it increases risks from fire and invasive species. Panelists will discuss strategies for helping wildlife in the face of climate change as well as resources and toolkits available to help increase biodiversity in the places you live, work, and play.  

How to Talk Climate by Developing Your Personal Climate Story: A group of emerging environmental leaders invite you to explore your personal climate story through an immersive storytelling workshop, based on Climate Generation’s transformative model. Participants will be guided through a series of reflection and discussion activities to uncover their personal connections to the environment. While knowing the facts behind global warming is important, connecting these facts to your own life is a powerful tool for self-reflection and encouraging others to take action.