In September 2020, Gov. Whitmer took major executive action and committed our state to be carbon neutral by 2050. Science has made clear this is necessary to avoid the worst climate impacts. Right now, the state is developing a plan for how we can achieve this goal. This is the most ambitious undertaking in Michigan to address the climate crisis and it is critical that we get it right.
On Monday, December 13th, we submitted over 300 of your signatures along with the below recommendation letter to EGLE, outlining the clear and specific steps the state must take to achieve an equitable transition to zero climate emissions.
Please add your name below, to keep the pressure on the state to move forward with these recommendations as they finalize their draft, which will be released for public comment on January 14th.
Sign Below to Send Recommendations to EGLE
This is a critical opportunity to take climate action and fight for clean energy and justice. Join us in making your voice heard by signing onto our recommendation letter, below.
Dear EGLE Director Clark and the Council on Climate Solutions:
We urge you to include the following recommendations in the MI Healthy Climate Plan. Without the below recommendations, Michigan will not achieve its climate goals and will fall short of delivering a healthy, equitable climate for Michiganders for generations to come.
Electricity Generation - We must rapidly transition to clean, renewable energy and better enable people to generate their own renewable energy. The Climate Plan must include:
- A 100% zero-carbon electricity standard by 2035 that does not rely on false solutions like nuclear energy, carbon capture and sequestration, or carbon offsets.
- Policies that make it easier for people to build solar, and prioritizes low-income and environmental justice (EJ) communities.
- Launch a "future of gas" planning process to help Michiganders and our utilities transition off natural gas.
Transportation and Mobility - One third of our state's fossil fuel emissions come from transportation. We must rapidly electrify this sector and reduce vehicle miles traveled in order to reach our 2050 goals. The Climate Plan must include:
- A goal for all new light vehicles sold to be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2035.
- Expand access to convenient, zero-emission public transit and develop a statewide plan to increase non-motorized mobility.
- Make buying EVs more affordable and EV charging more accessible with major investments in EV charging stations and EV purchase incentives.
- Incorporate climate into transportation plans for MDOT and local transportation agencies by developing greenhouse gas budgets.
Buildings and Housing - Major public and private investment is necessary for building decarbonization. Existing structures must be retro-fitted to be highly efficient and all-electric, and new construction must include electric appliances. The Climate Plan must include:
- A goal for all new heating equipment sales to be electric by 2035.
- Requirements for utilities to increase spending on energy efficiency programs, especially programs for low-income and energy burdened customers.
- Use the influx of federal dollars to create a fund for decarbonizing retrofits of affordable and low-income housing and to create new financing options for those able to take on a loan.
Natural and Working Lands - The cheapest and most effective way to store carbon is to preserve the natural habitats and existing carbon sinks we already have. The Climate Plan must:
- Prohibit nature-based offsets, like planting trees, in the energy/utility, transportation, and building sectors2;
- Protect Michigan's forests by focusing forest maintenance plans on efforts to increase ecological health and set a goal to protect 30% of Michigan's forests by 2030;
- Protect existing wetlands and waterways by establishing a moratorium on destruction of wetlands and using existing state planning processes to encourage the preservation and restoration of wetlands.
Environmental Justice and Climate Justice - As our state works to equitably decarbonize, we must build a more just society, and address the decades of cumulative and disproportionate impacts from fossil fuels and underinvestment in environmental justice (EJ) communities. The Climate Plan must:
- Require state agencies to conduct an EJ analysis of climate impacts using an EJ screen that establishes a baseline of emissions and cumulative impacts, and regularly measures progress on pollution reductions in EJ communities.
- Prioritize EJ communities and directly reduce energy burden and emissions in communities of color and low- and moderate-income communities, including specific goals to deploy clean energy resources and mitigation efforts in frontline communities like the Justice40 Initiative.
- Use the influx of federal dollars to prioritize jobs training programs, resiliency investments, and other investments in vulnerable and historically underinvested communities.
- The Governor should direct all state agencies to exercise their authority to help facilitate Michigan's achievement of the GHG goals and this plan, and to consider and integrate climate change and the state’s GHG emissions reduction goals into all decisions.
People use less energy and have a lower climate footprint in higher-density communities, so the Climate Plan should break down barriers to density by aligning land use with the state’s climate commitments, working with municipalities to allow higher-density development in job-rich areas and near public transit, to allow more multi-family residences, and to eliminate parking minimums.
The next decade will be decisive in our effort to stop climate change by transitioning off fossil fuels. This transition off of fossil fuels will also reduce pollution, save lives and health care costs, make for healthier communities, create good jobs, and boost local economies. By prioritizing investments in most impacted and disadvantaged communities we will also be supporting and benefiting those most impacted by climate change.
Learn More About Our Recommendations
If you'd like to read the full, unabridged letter that we and other Michigan climate organizations are sending the EGLE, you can find that here.
Thank you for your support!