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Whitmer wants to make Michigan carbon neutral in 30 years

An executive directive lays out ambitious goals and plans for state government’s energy efficiency efforts
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during an August 14, 2020 press conference.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during an August 14, 2020 press conference.(State of Michigan)
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 2:21 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a new plan Wednesday to make Michigan fully carbon neutral by 2050.

She hopes the plan both protects public health and the environment while developing jobs in the clean energy industry.

“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.”

She issued an executive directive on Wednesday that formally establishes the carbon neutral goal within the next 30 years. It starts with a goal of reducing Michigan’s greenhouse gas emissions by 28% compared to 1990 levels by 2025.

Whitmer is ordering the Michigan Department of Treasury to develop and implement an Energy Transition Impact Project to work with communities on maintaining high quality employment and services when faced with the closure of energy facilities.

She also ordered the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to develop and implement the MI Healthy Climate Plan, which will serve as the state’s roadmap for how to achieve carbon neutrality. Michigan’s new Council on Climate Solutions will be established to help formulate and carry out the plan.

“Michiganders have been on the front lines of environmental protection from the first Earth Day 50 years ago, and we continue to lead with these important steps to safeguard Michiganders and their natural resources,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark.

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget will take specific steps to increase energy efficiency and work toward carbon neutrality in new state buildings and facilities.

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