Kate Madigan

  • Experts Find Oil Tunnel will Exacerbate Climate Crisis

    By Margrethe Kearney and Kate Madigan -

    Four expert witnesses just weighed in with the Michigan Public Service Commission about whether Enbridge should be allowed to build an oil tunnel beneath the Great Lakes. They used climate data to study the project’s environmental impact, a first under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act. 

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  • published Carbon Neutral Michigan in Campaigns 2021-07-15 18:26:13 -0400

    Carbon Neutral Michigan

    For a stable climate, scientists agree we must reach global net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and cut emissions 45% by 2030.1 If done well, this will bring many other benefits - saving lives, making healthier communities, creating good jobs, and boosting local economies.

    Michigan is Leading

    In 2020, Governor Whitmer committed Michigan to be carbon neutral by 2050 - which means our state will be carbon free for all energy sources, including electricity, buildings, and transportation. With this action, Michigan became one of the leading states in taking climate action!

    The Governor's executive order and directive also set the following goals:

    • Cut climate emissions 28 percent below 1999 emissions levels by 2025;
    • Require all new state-owned buildings to be carbon neutral by 2040; 
    • Cut climate emissions from electricity and heating of government facilities 40 percent by 2040; and
    • Engage communities impacted by this energy transition and minimize these impacts.

    These goals are ambitious, but achievable if we immediately get to work. They also are in line with what climate science tells us that we must do. 

    The executive order created the Council on Climate Solutions charged with developing and implementing an action plan for the state to achieve carbon neutrality, known as the MI Healthy Climate Plan. There are also five Council Workgroups helping develop this plan and recommendations. A draft of the MI Healthy Climate Plan is due September 2021, and the final plan is due in December 2021. Find out how to attend their meetings and send in public comment here.

    How Can Michigan Achieve Carbon Neutrality?

    Most of the greenhouse gases (about 90%) come from the burning fossil fuels. In Michigan, roughly one-third come from transportation; one-third from power generation; and about one-third from heating buildings and industrial processes.

    The remaining 10% of greenhouse gases released in Michigan are from fertilizers and industrial chemicals like refrigerants. These will be challenging to reduce. There are things we can do to capture carbon already in the atmosphere, and we’ll need to save this for these emissions that are hardest to reduce.

    While 2050 can feel far off in human lives, we have to make some major changes very soon. Most of our vehicles and furnaces have about a 15-year lifespan. By 2035, every vehicle and every furnace or other heating appliance sold has to be electric or otherwise not emitting greenhouse gases. 

    Currently, less than 15% of Michigan's electricity comes from renewable sources, so we also need to move rapidly to build out the solar and wind needed to replace fossil fuels generating our electricity.

    To learn more about reaching this carbon neutrality goal, listen to our podcast episode with Douglas Jester with 5 Lakes Energy.

    What is Next?

    MiCAN, other advocates, and thousands of people pushed the Governor to take bold climate action. MiCAN then shared the news of this action widely - including with this video, and we thanked the Governor for leading.

    We are now working to make sure the MI Healthy Climate Plan is strong, and has the support it needs. Find out how to attend the Council on Climate Solutions meetings and send in public comment here.

    This executive action is a huge step forward. Meeting this goal and making sure it is not rolled back by a future administration is also going to take policy change by the legislature. We are also working to support 100% renewable electricity policies in Michigan, which several states have already passed; and to support other clean energy policies like electric vehicles and community solar. 


    [1] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC 1.5C Report: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

  • published Tell Biden to Support Line 5 Shutdown in Take Action 2021-06-29 11:15:07 -0400

  • Michigan Climate Action Network endorsed 2020-11-16 13:02:13 -0500

    Line 5 Shutdown - Thank Gov. Whitmer

    Thank You Governor WhitmerGovernor Whitmer, along with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Attorney General Dana Nessel, have revoked the easement that allowed Enbridge to operate Line 5 in the Great Lakes. This is historic. If ultimately successful, this would be the first time an operating pipeline has ever been shut down.

    It is rare that a politician has the guts to stand up to the most powerful industry on the planet. Please join us in thanking Governor Gretchen Whitmer for taking a politically risky stance on behalf of all Michiganders, and for doing what must be done to protect future generations.

    We'll send your name and comments as a thank you card.

    Governor Whitmer:

    Thank you so much for your audacious action for the Great Lakes, the climate, and the people of Michigan. Thank you for applying public trust law, listening to the science of climate change, and for hearing the thousands of dedicated citizens and organizations that worked to elevate this issue in a way that will protect our environment for generations to come.

    Thank you for taking the courageous steps to shut down Line 5!


  • published Equity and Justice in About MiCAN 2020-11-14 07:30:06 -0500

    Equity and Justice

    The need for justice is urgent. Everywhere we look we see the compounding effects of racism in our culture and our policies. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of over 500,000 people in our country, with a quarter of those lives lost being Black Americans – a number that is disproportionately high because of environmental injustice, social injustice, and racism.

    Communities of color are experiencing greater impacts from climate change like flooding and heatwaves, greater harm from the pollution from the burning of fossil fuels that is causing life-threatening conditions like severe asthma and cancer, and disproportionately high deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic. The climate crisis, environmental justice crisis, and health crisis are racial injustice crises that are all connected and rooted in systemic injustice.

    We cannot solve the climate crisis without addressing the systemic racism and oppression that continues to plague our culture, our history, and our laws. The Michigan Climate Action Network is committed to building a racially diverse network, supporting BIPOC-led movements and frontline communities, making sure people of color and those most impacted are at the table where decisions are made, and to making justice and equity central to our work.

    As part of MiCAN's journey to become a more just, diverse, and inclusive network, at our 2017 annual meeting we adopted the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing. These principles were created in 1996 during a meeting hosted by the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice "with the intention of hammering out common misunderstandings between participants from different cultures, politics, and organizations." Each principle has an important description that you can read in the full document

    Image: Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light

           Image: Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light



  • followed Donate 2018-07-11 11:50:40 -0400

  • donated 2017-11-28 09:21:59 -0500


    $655.00 raised
    GOAL: $2,500.00

    Thank you for taking action and standing up for climate protection.

    The Michigan Climate Action Network (MICAN) is a rapidly growing group of organizations, businesses, and individuals that have come together to prevent the worst effects of a changing climate in Michigan. To us, there is nothing more important than working toward solutions that reduce greenhouse gases to promote a livable planet, protect our beautiful state, and allow us to participate in the coming clean energy economy.

    Thanks to a generous donor, all gifts through the end of 2017 will be matched! Your $25 becomes $50, your $100 becomes $200.

    Payments are PayPal processed on behalf of MICAN by Michigan Environmental Council.

    Donate Online Here | Donate via Check Below


Director, Michigan Climate Action Network. Views expressed are my own. She/her.


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