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Climate Action

Local impacts of climate change

From extreme heat and poor air quality to changes in precipitation and more severe storms, Ramsey County residents feel the impact of climate change in many ways:

  • Stroke and heat-related illnesses increase during periods of extreme heat. Poor air quality can make asthma and cardiovascular disease symptoms worse.
  • Both extreme heat and poor air quality can worsen existing mental health conditions.
  • Animals, plants and waterways within the county also suffer from extreme climate conditions.
  • Ecosystem imbalances have led to changes like loss of trees from Emerald Ash Borer, and higher Lyme disease rates. 
  • The changing climate makes it harder for businesses to adapt. They may struggle to develop and keep their customers and employees. 

County response

Ramsey County has created the Climate Equity Action Plan to guide our response to climate change, based on the Minnesota Climate Action Framework, community feedback, input from key partnerships and guidance from internal county collaborators.

The plan has six focus areas:

  • Clean transportation.
  • Thriving communities.
  • Healthy lives.
  • Clean energy and efficient buildings.
  • Climate-smart natural land.
  • Clean economy.

In each focus area, the Climate Equity Action Plan lists actions to take to address climate change in Ramsey County.

Review presentation slides giving an overview of the plan and its development.

Learn more about the Climate Equity Action Plan

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Strategic priority

In 2022 the county developed a strategic priority to partner with community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help community thrive in changing climate conditions. 

Learn more about the strategic priority.

Climate change vulnerability assessment

In 2016, staff conducted a climate change vulnerability assessment. This tool is used to identify areas that might be more vulnerable to climate change.

Read the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment


Resources for residents

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Timeline of past Climate Equity Action Plan work

Progress updates

Department highlights

Staff and community collaboratively developed the county's first Climate Equity Action Plan. Stay tuned for updates on the work outlined in this plan.

The plan was presented at the Board of Commissioners Workshop March 5.

Community highlights

The county is creating a team of residents to share equity-focused guidance on climate action plans and projects. 

Stay tuned for updates from this group. 

Get involved


Sign up for the Climate Action newsletter.

Urban heat island campaign

Later this summer (2024), Ramsey County will conduct a citizen science urban heat island data collection campaign in partnership with Hennepin County, with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. 

On the day of the campaign, trained volunteers will attach a heat monitoring sensor to their vehicles, and drive a specific route. this will help identify urban heat islands. That information can help the county take action to reduce negative impacts of extreme heat. 

Volunteers will receive a $25 gift card as compensation.

If you're interested in volunteering or learning more, sign up below.

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