The "code red" Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released this week is hard to take in. But the report also confirms that it is not too late to act. We have a narrow window - right now - for serious action.
The landmark report confirms that many of the climate impacts activists have been fighting to prevent for 20 years are here, and that warming will only continue for decades.
It's easy to feel incredibly overwhelmed and angry.
But at MiCAN we are all about providing and uplifting tangible action steps, and we know that action is the antidote to despair. There has never been a more important time in our lives to act. And, thankfully, there have never been more opportunities for major climate policy.
Here is what we are focused on, and what gives us hope:
- Passing the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package through Congress. This is the biggest opportunity in over a decade for major federal climate action and would be a huge step toward the climate reductions needed to keep warming to 1.5 degrees. The reconciliation package includes $150 billion for wind and solar to reach 80% renewable energy by 2030, billions for electric vehicle charging stations and EV rebates, $10 billion for a Civilian Climate Corps, $400 billion to modernize the electrical grid, $1 billion for the Great Lakes, and more. This is designed to also create good jobs and benefit disadvantaged communities. Tell your members of Congress to support the Reconciliation Package today - click here to send them a quick email.
- Stopping the Line 5 oil tunnel and shutting down Line 5. In April, the Michigan Public Service Commission agreed with us to include evidence of climate change in its review of the Line 5 oil tunnel - thanks to the 2,000 people and 120 businesses and organizations who signed onto our letter. We are now working with some of the nation's leading scientists and experts to submit testimony and make the case that building fossil fuel infrastructure at this point in the climate crisis is unreasonable and dangerous.
- Helping Michigan rapidly and equitably achieve carbon neutrality. In September, Governor Whitmer took executive action committing Michigan to be carbon neutral by 2050, which will put our state on track to meet the 1.5 degree target. Right now, the Council on Climate Solutions and five workgroups are working on the plan for how our state can achieve this, which will be completed in February. Carbon neutrality means our entire state will be powered by non-carbon sources - our electricity, transportation, heating and cooling, and industry. Listen to this podcast episode to learn more about this work.
- Increasing Michigan's renewable energy standard to 100%. Governor Whitmer's executive action on climate is a huge step forward, but for things like increasing our renewable portfolio standard, we also need Michigan's legislature to act. Currently, our RPS is just 15%. The IPCC report makes clear this needs to be updated to 100%, and MiCAN is working with our partners and legislators to make this happen.
- Supporting local climate action. All great social movements have started with local action, and the momentum we now have in Michigan and at the federal level is because of the climate and justice work happening in communities. We are supporting many local efforts in Michigan and working to connect climate activists in cities and towns across the state. If you are doing local climate work and want to be connected with others, please reach out to Jamie at [email protected].
What we do now will set the tone for the climate and determine the quality of life for our children and grandchildren and generations to come.
Please contact your members of Congress today, and then encourage your friends to do the same.