Burnsville city hall

A growing number of Republicans are starting to voice concerns about climate change. But Elizabeth Kautz, the Republican mayor of Burnsville, Minnesota, has been publicly supporting climate action for almost fifteen years.

She says it started in 2005, when she met with mayors from across the country and discussed the threats posed by global warming.

Kautz: “It was clear to all of us that we needed to do something.”

By June of that year, 141 mayors pledged to cut carbon pollution in their communities.

Now, Burnsville’s emissions are almost 30 percent lower than they were back then.

Much of the reduction has come from improvements to the city’s water infrastructure. Energy efficient upgrades to wells, pumps, and water treatment plants have cut way back on the electricity used in treating and delivering water to residents.

The city also switched to LED lighting, has improved energy efficiency, and promotes composting, which can help reduce methane emissions from landfills.

Kautz says climate action is everyone’s job.

Kautz: “It is imperative that we make good decisions and be good stewards of this planet – this beautiful planet that we live on.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.