News Release

University of Minnesota publishes Climate Resilience Plan

A woman with a maroon Office of Sustainability T-shirt on the right side speaking to two students on the left. Between the woman and students is a billboard titled "Building Envelope" on a table.
Credit: University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota recently published its first Twin Cities campus Climate Resilience Plan — the only one of its kind in the Big Ten. The new plan is an addendum to the 2023 Climate Action Plan.

Other universities have climate action plans, but few include resilience plans, which go beyond carbon emissions reduction strategies to respond to climate change and analyze how they affect the campus community, infrastructure and environment.

With 80% of the University’s community agreeing climate change is extremely or very important to them and the science is clear that swift action must be taken to ensure a livable future for all, the resilience plan goals are to adapt to changes in rainfall, seasonality and temperatures through:

  • Building envelope: Improving building resilience to climate hazards through renovating and investing in worthy buildings to meet advanced standards.
  • Emergency power supply: Optimizing to a 99.5% generator readiness and reliability to protect property, personnel safety and integrity of systems.
  • Tree canopy: Enhancing campuswide tree cover for cooling and stormwater benefits with resilient, diverse species.
  • Green space: Maximize green spaces to enhance climate adaptation and community well-being.
  • River bank: Mitigating erosion along the Mississippi River bank through proactive management and sustainable design.
  • Essential employees: Empowering essential workers to withstand climate impacts with awareness campaigns and support systems.
  • Public health with vulnerable populations: Increasing physical and mental health support and resources for the vulnerable communities most impacted by climate change.

The Twin Cities campus resilience plan reflects goals outlined in the University’s systemwide strategic plan, MPact 2025.

“Minnesotans experienced the 10 warmest and wettest years in the state since 1998, and extreme events such as flooding, drought and heat waves are expected to worsen if left unchecked,” said Kate Nelson, director of sustainability on the Twin Cities campus. “Adding resilience to our Climate Action Plan is one step of many the University will take to fulfill our commitment to build a fully sustainable future and position Minnesota as a leader in climate action.”

The University’s resilience plan’s priorities and measurable outcomes were created, in response to local climate hazard research, by a creative and collaborative effort of students, faculty, staff and the Office of Sustainability. This work will involve collaboration with various University departments and municipal and county governments.

About the University of Minnesota Twin Cities 
One of five campuses in the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is the flagship and founding campus of one of the most prestigious public research universities in the nation. With more than 47,000 undergraduate and graduate students, it is also one of only five university campuses in the U.S. with an engineering school, medical school, law school, veterinary medicine school, and agricultural school all on one campus. Visit