This page provides an overview of the steps Minnesota is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Since July 2009, Minnesota state agencies have been collaborating on climate adaptation efforts through the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team (ICAT). ICAT is comprised of representatives from a number of Minnesota state departments and agencies, including Agriculture, Commerce, Health, Natural Resources, Pollution Control, Public Safety, and Transportation, as well as the Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Metropolitan Council.

ICAT released its preliminary report in 2010, Adapting to Climate Change in Minnesota - Preliminary Report of the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team. ICAT updated this report and expanded its scope in 2013 with the release of Adapting to Climate Change in Minnesota - 2013 Report of the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team. The 2013 report highlights how the state government is working to adapt to a changing climate, reduce risks and impacts, and increase the resilience at the local level. The report provides a comprehensive overview of climate impacts in Minnesota and a detailed summary of climate adaptation progress at the state agency level.

According to ICAT, this 2013 report is said to be a first step in a broader planning process for Minnesota. The state plans to release a comprehensive progress report and action plan in the near future that describes how state agencies are addressing climate change and the known benefits for Minnesota. This plan will address both mitigation and adaptation, and will help to identify additional actions for meeting the state’s goals.

State agencies have also pursued climate adaptation planning. The Minnesota Department of Health formed an internal adaptation working group, which created a five-year Strategic Plan to Adapt to Climate Change in 2010.  Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources has included climate change mitigation, adaptation, and monitoring as part of its Strategic Conservation Agenda. This includes preserving lands and forests that take up and store greenhouse gases, creating wildlife corridors and enhancing connectivity to facilitate species movement, and monitoring climate change impacts and evaluating the efficacy of mitigation and adaptation measures. The department also runs the Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment program, which monitors lake conditions in response to impacts from land-use patterns and climate change, and is conducting a vulnerability assessment of species and habitats that will be incorporated into the State Wildlife Action Plan.

In a parallel effort, the University of Minnesota Water Resources Institute is facilitating communication within Minnesota’s scientific and academic communities through the Climate Change Adaptation Working Group (CCAWG).  CCAWG began meeting in June 2008 and includes representatives of state agencies, regional bodes, federal agencies, local governments, and representatives from the academic, NGO, and private sectors.

Minnesota's statewide adaptation planning is in progress.  Other resources from the Adaptation Clearinghouse, which have been developed by the state and localities to help communities prepare for climate change, are highlighted below.

(Research last updated June 30, 2014.)

The Georgetown Climate Center’s State Adaptation Progress Tracker, which tracks the progress of states in implementing their adaptation plans, is supported by the MacArthur Foundation. 


State Agency Plans

Resource Name Sector(s) Covered Date
Adapting to Climate Change in Minnesota: 2017 Report of the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team May 2017
Minnesota State Hazard Mitigation Plan Land management and conservation, Land use and built environment March 14, 2014
Adapting to Climate Change in Minnesota - 2013 Report of the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and ecosystems, Forestry, Land management and conservation, Public health, Transportation, Water resources November 2013
Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework Agriculture and food, Biodiversity and ecosystems, Cultural resources, Land use and built environment, Tourism and recreation, Water resources January 15, 2011
Adapting to Climate Change in Minnesota - Preliminary Report of the Interagency Climate Adaptation Team Biodiversity and ecosystems, Energy, Land use and built environment, Public health, Tourism and recreation, Transportation, Water resources August 2010

More Featured Resources

Resource Name Resource Category Date
Minnesota Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Assessments October 13, 2014

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