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Whitmer addresses climate change, wants Michigan to be carbon-neutral by 2050

Michigan will aim to achieve a 28% reduction below 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
Credit: State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the creation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan Wednesday, which puts Michigan on a path towards becoming fully carbon-neutral by 2050.

To implement this plan, Whitmer signed an executive directive that formally sets the goal of economic decarbonization in Michigan. She also signed an executive order, which created an advisory to guide the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in its development of the MI Healthy Climate Plan.

The plan makes Michigan the ninth state to commit to 100% economic carbon neutrality.

“Through comprehensive and aggressive steps, we will combat the climate crisis by formally setting and relentlessly pursuing a goal of statewide decarbonization by 2050,” Whitmer said. “These bold actions will provide critical protections for our environment, economy, and public health, now and for years to come. It will also position Michigan to attract a new generation of clean energy and energy efficiency jobs.”

Under the executive directive, Michigan will aim to achieve a 28% reduction below 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Additionally, an Energy Transition Impact Project will be implemented by the Department of the Treasury. The project will assist communities in maintaining services and employment for workers while moving toward a more sustainable future with the closure of energy facilities, according to news release from the state.

Under the executive order, the EGLE will create and implement the Council on Climate Solutions and the MI Healthy Climate Plan.

“The Council on Climate Solutions will identify and recommend opportunities for the development and effective implementation of emissions-reduction strategies while focusing on targeted solutions for communities disproportionately being affected by the climate crisis,” the news release reads.

Members of the Council will be appointed by Whitmer. They will represent a range of sectors, experiences, and expertise. Applications for the Council can be submitted here until Nov. 1, 2020.

“The science is clear – climate change is directly impacting our public health, environment, our economy, and our families,” Whitmer said. “This dangerous reality is already causing harm throughout Michigan, with communities of color and low-income Michiganders suffering disproportionately, which is why I’m taking immediate action to protect our state. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them a cleaner, safer and healthier world."

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