Michigan can and should be a leader in solving the climate crisis to prevent the climate impacts we are now seeing - flooding of our homes, increasingly extreme storms, wildfires burning out west - from getting much worse.
Yet the initial draft of the state's climate plan released in January didn't move fast enough to achieve the Governor's commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050, and the global need to cut emissions in half by 2030. It is critical that we get this plan right. Together, we rallied and used our voices, calling for a stronger and more equitable climate plan.
Over the course of weeks, over 800 Michiganders attended multiple public comment sessions, using your voice to call on the state to make specific improvements to the plan. And over 900 of you sent emails to EGLE, urging for science-backed changes that MiCAN developed with the state's other leading climate organizations.
Together, your voices made a huge difference and successfully steered the state to release a stronger plan that will get our state to carbon neutrality and address the climate crisis and climate injustice. After shouldering the burden of pollution for far too long, low-income and BIPOC communities are prioritized in this plan. See the full plan, here.
Now comes the hard work of implementing this plan. Which we must, in order to move swiftly and address this critical moment for our planet as well as to meet our state's climate goals. Please email Governor Gretcher Whitmer below, thanking her for releasing this new, imporoved plan, and urging her to take the bold action needed to fully implement it. We've seen the impact sending these emails can have - thank you for continually using your voice for our climate.
Dear Governor Whitmer, EGLE Director Clark, and the Council on Climate Solutions:
We thank you for your bold climate commitments. The draft MI Healthy Climate Plan is a good starting point but needs improvements if we are to achieve the ambitious and necessary goal for Michigan to be carbon neutral. We urge you to improve the plan in the following ways:
- Electricity: Set a goal for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035 and include more specific recommendations to expand distributed renewables including by eliminating the cap on rooftop solar.
- Transportation: Acknowledge that to combat climate change Michigan needs to focus on helping people drive less. Double state funding to expand public transit, create dedicated bus lanes, require transportation agencies to include greenhouse gas emissions in their decision-making, and increase funding to local communities to create safer streets for biking and walking.
- Buildings: Set a target for 100% of new heating equipment sales to be electric by 2035, increase the energy waste reduction standard for gas, create incentives to help people transition to efficient, electric heat pumps, and invest significant funds to decarbonize and weatherize low-income and affordable housing.
- Equity and Justice: Thank you for the Justice40 commitments. We urge you to include specific measures as outlined in the Climate R.E.A.D.Y. letter to prioritize investments in low-income and environmental justice communities that reduce pollution, increase resiliency and preparedness for climate impacts, create job training programs, and improve energy reliability and affordability.
- Line 5: The State of Michigan must clarify its position on the proposed oil tunnel, and acknowledge the significant climate impacts of allowing this oil tunnel, the emissions equivalent of 10 coal-fired power plants.