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MN350 is a Minnesota based spin-off of the global 350.org, dedicated to “building a climate movement by inviting and inspiring Minnesotans to take powerful, collective action grounded in urgency, justice and possibility for our planet.” The organizations take their name from the scientifically recognized maximum safe amount of carbon in the atmosphere—350 parts per million—a level that has now been exceeded by global carbon emissions.

Press Releases

For Immediate Release: May 17, 2017

Contact:

Kevin Whelan, kevin@mn350.org 612-414-9731

Patty O’Keefe, patty@mn350.org 952-221-3977

 

MN350: Legislature should do over, do better on justice and clean energy

Since the regular legislative session came to an end on Monday, Minnesotans have flooded the Capitol to reject a set of late night special interest attacks on workers’ rights, the security of our immigrant neighbors and our common future. MN350, a climate justice organization that organizes to make our state a fairer and healthier place while addressing the climate crisis, issued the following statement in support of the growing call to #VetoEverything.

Kevin Whelan, MN350 Executive Director said:

“Once again the Minnesotans on the front line of racial injustice are leading the call for our state to live up to its aspirations to be a heathy place for all. Immigrants seeking fair treatment and low wage workers uniting for family sustaining wages have demanded a new state budget that treats our all our people with respect.

The State Legislative leadership has failed to deliver a budget on time or act in good faith. Along with attacking immigrants and workers they also passed a Jobs and Energy Bill that would undermine clean energy in rural Minnesota.

Besides these foolish steps backwards the legislative majority ignored moderate, bi-partisan proposals for modest steps forward toward a more prosperous and inclusive clean energy economy. Nor did they adequately fund urgent mass transit needs. These would be the least we could do to protect our communities from catastrophic climate change while creating good jobs right now.

Governor Dayton deserves credit for standing up to attacks on clean energy and communities this legislative session. The broken state budget process needs a reset. If the Governor heeds the call to #VetoEverything, Speaker Daudt and Majority Leader Gazelka and our legislators should deliver clean budget bills without attacks on workers, immigrants or rural energy customers.

A just clean energy future shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It’s a survival issue—for all of us.”

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For Immediate Release: May 15, 2017

Contacts: Ulla Nilsen, MN350, 612-787-7110, Ulla@MN350.org

Kate Jacobson, MN350, 651-402-8901, Kate@MN350.org

Tara Houska, Honor the Earth, 612-226-9404, tara@honorearth.org

U.S. Bank to stop financing pipeline construction

Local advocacy, global movement leads to first-of-its-kind climate policy

This April, U.S. Bank has become the first major bank in the United States to formally exclude gas and oil pipelines from their project financing. This groundbreaking change to their Environmental Responsibility Policy was publicly announced at the annual shareholders meeting in Nashville.

In addition to no longer providing “project financing for the construction of oil or natural gas pipelines,” the bank has stated that relationships with their clients in the oil and gas industries will be subject to “enhanced due diligence processes.”​ As recently as March 2017, U.S. Bank has renewed commitments with Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline, and with Enbridge Energy, whose pipelines operate within Minnesota. However, advocates are hopeful that the bank’s newly released policy will limit other kinds of financing relationships with these industries.

“U.S. Bank’s new policy is an important step in protecting the environment and moving towards a fossil free future,” said Wichahpi Otto, a volunteer with the climate justice group MN350, who travelled to Nashville for the shareholders meeting. “We applaud them for responding to the community and contributing to worldwide efforts to address climate change.”

This move comes after ongoing pressure on U.S. Bank locally from MN350 and from the Minnesotans for a Fair Economy coalition, and on banks nationally from indigenous groups including Honor the Earth, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Dakota Access resistance movement.

Beginning in 2015, a regional partnership of climate, labor, and indigenous rights advocates has urged that U.S. Bank divest from fossil fuels, in particular from Enbridge Energy, and move its financing into the clean energy economy. Local actions have included letter-writing, account closures, and social media campaigns. In response, in May 2016 the bank made changes to their Environmental Policy restricting lending to coal.

“We applaud this progressive decision from U.S. Bank,” said Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth. “A strong message is being sent to the fossil fuel industry: we are consumers, we have agency and the right to know how our money is being invested. Move to a green economy and a future that does not profit off the destruction of Mother Earth and our communities.”

A national and international campaign pressuring banks to divest has been highly successful, pulling nearly $4.5 billion from financiers, and a newly launched coalition effort called Mazaska Talks has expanded this effort.

Organizations and community members say they are eager to see how U.S. Bank’s unprecedented stance can encourage movement in financing from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. “Confronting the climate crisis requires boldness, urgency, and innovation,” said Dr. Emily Swanson, a member of MN350. “While there is more to be done, we are hopeful U.S. Bank can continue to act as an industry leader and as an ally for creating a more sustainable economy.”

MN350 is a Minnesota based spin-off of the global 350.org, dedicated to “building a climate movement by inviting and inspiring Minnesotans to take powerful, collective action grounded in urgency, justice and possibility for our planet.”  The organizations take their name from the scientifically recognized maximum safe amount of carbon in the atmosphere—350 parts per million—a level that has now been exceeded by global carbon emissions.

Honor the Earth is a Minnesota based environmental justice organization led by indigenous women, dedicated to protecting indigenous homelands and resources, and empowering communities with energy independence through renewables.

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Press Coverage Archive

Press Release Archive

Under Pressure U.S.Bank Strengthens Climate Policy (6/30/16) Concerned Citizens in the Twin Ports to Rally Against Reckless Enbridge Pipeline Expansions MN350 Statement on Sandpiper Decision Illegal Alberta Clipper Expansion Scheme (9/8/15) Minneapolis City Council Votes to Support Fossil Fuel Divestment (3/20/15) Enbridge Over Troubled Waters Event (7/27/14) Public Utilites Commission Enbridge Tar Sands Expansion Phase 1 Decision (07/17/13) Symbolic Delivery of Public Comments to PUC Regarding Tar Sands Expansion (04/05/13) Earth Train to Climate Rally in D.C. (02/15/13) Do the Math Tour Press Advisory (11/30/12) Earth Day Festival: Biking for Climate Justice (04/22/12) MN350 Postcard Delivery Press Release (10-04-11) MN350 Petition to Senator Klobuchar Staff (10-03-11) St. Paul Rally – Press Release (9-25-11) Moving Planet Media Advisory (9-23-11) Moving Planet Media Advisory (9-22-11) Moving Planet Messaging Sheet (9-1-11) Moving Planet Interfaith Procession

 

Photo Links

August 30th Tar Sands Rally November 6th Tar Sands Rally

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