Report Back from Paris on January 8

parisclimate650Friday, January 8th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Linden Hills Park, Multi-purpose room

W 43rd St. & Xerxes Ave. S, Minneapolis

The evening included an intergenerational panel of Minnesotans discussing the COP21 UN Climate Conference in Paris. Followed by small group action planning on steps citizens can take. Free and open to the public, all ages especially youth.

A recording of the live streaming of the event is available here.

Our Panelists (in order of appearance)

Ellen Anderson – Executive Director, University of Minnesota Energy Transition Lab
Magyar Sorour – Campus Organizer, MPIRG
Maria Langholz – COP21 Delegation Lead with SustainUS
Rose Welch – General Manager, Organics Consumers Assoc.(Regeneration International is a project of OCA)
Kevin Whelan – Executive Director, MN350
Joe Robertson – Global Strategy Director, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Citizens Climate Engagement Network is a project of CCL)

Breakout Sessions

In addition to those led by our panelists, we also had breakout session leadership by the following:
Tom Hansen, Diplomat in Residence with the Royal D. Alworth Institute for International Studies (UMD)Keiko Veasey, Linden Hills Power & Light
joined by:
MN Community Solar
Cooperative Energy Futures
SunShare SolarSouth View Environmental Group (SVEG) students
Hennepin County Environmental Education Resources – many materials are available online or for free to order

Action Items

  1. Call Minneapolis City Council members regarding the Minneapolis Recycling Contract (more info below)
  2. Sign up for WindSource from Xcel Energy – handoutsign up now
  3. Join Cool Planet Skiers


Minneapolis Recycling Contract

This winter, Minneapolis will decide who processes our recycling for the next 5-10 years. This is an opportunity to invest in living wage jobs and commit to environmental justice. We want to live in a city without garbage incinerators polluting the air or landfills contaminating our water. We want an organization who believes in our principles and helps us reach our goals.

Currently, our recycling is processed by Waste Management, a for-profit, multinational corporation based in Texas. Their landfills outnumber their recycling facilities 2:1, and they operate 16 dirty incinerators around the country, polluting the air and harming thousands of people. Their goal is to maximize their profits, often to the detriment of our neighbors and the environment. Why should we continue to send our money to Texas when we need good jobs and clean air?

Minneapolis is home to Eureka Recycling, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to zero waste. Their facility in Northeast Minneapolis already processes recycling for St. Paul, and they do it well. They volunteer at hundreds of block parties and events in our community every year — not because they get paid for it, but because they actually care that much about recycling. Choosing Eureka means investing in the future of our community.

That’s why I am asking to please call the 6 council members (their numbers are below) who are on the Transportation and Public Works Committee to urge them to support Eureka Recycling’s bid to process Minneapolis’s recycling. Minneapolis deserves an organization that has a commitment to a better environment and a zero waste future.

Kevin Reich (chair) — (612) 673-2201
Linea Palmisano (vice-chair) — (612) 673-2213
Cam Gordon — (612) 673-2202
Blong Yang — (612) 673-2205
Elizabeth Glidden — (612) 673-2208
Lisa Bender — (612) 673-2210

Thank you so much!
A concerned citizen, Mahyar Sorour