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Our Voice: Letter to Minnesota's Congressional Delegates

October 2007 - McKnight calls U.S. lawmakers to action, to tackle global climate change.

The brief letter below was sent to Minnesota's U.S. congressional delegates in October. While highlighting McKnight's philanthropic interest in renewable energy and the environment, the letter makes clear the Foundation's support of a call to action for the U.S. government to strategically address issues of global climate change. This call to action was organized by Ceres, a national network of investors, environmental organizations, and other public interest groups working to address sustainability challenges.

October 15, 2007

The McKnight Foundation is proud to count itself among dozens of major corporations, foundations, top investors, and asset managers that have united this year to proactively seek solutions to problems posed by global warming. Collectively, this committed group of organizations manages more than $4 trillion in assets through institutional investing and philanthropy.

As a group, we call for prompt and decisive action by the U.S. government to provide regulatory certainty in addressing issues of global climate change. Our full call to action statement, which is enclosed, outlines business and economic rationales for a national policy strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are consistent with widely held scientific targets to avoid the worst and most costly impacts of global warming. Also enclosed is a complete list of signatories, current as of today but continuing to grow.

The current lack of federal regulations around climate policy is impeding urgent problem-solving, by undermining long-term competitiveness and hindering investments in clean energy and climate-friendly technologies. At the same time, unprecedented new opportunities for growth and development hold direct implications for Minnesota. New economies are forming around climate-friendly renewable energies such as wind power and cellulosic biofuels. Efforts to reduce climate change present economic opportunities for businesses that invest in new technologies and products to save energy, save money on their energy bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and profit from developing these innovative technologies.

McKnight's directors agreed unanimously to support this call to action. The Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for present and future generations, a goal we have pursued through a variety of programmatic strategies for more than 50 years. Among our strategies, McKnight supports efforts to promote renewable energy production throughout the Upper Midwest, and we recognize the intrinsic links between the pursuit of sustainable energy and efforts to reverse catastrophic climate change.

Thoughtful deliberations in Congress are needed today for passage of forward-thinking initiatives to secure the future for all generations. If you have not already done so, I urge you to read and become familiar with the enclosed statement. Thank you for your attention to this critically important matter.


Kate Wolford