Council on Climate Solutions: Workgroup Recommendations
Council on Climate Solutions: Workgroup Recommendations
Five advisory workgroups have been formed to assist the Council in performing its duties and responsibilities. Each workgroup is comprised of two co-chairs and multiple members with varying backgrounds, including members of the public. The workgroups are in the process of submitting recommendations to the Council to consider as they advise EGLE in the creation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The Council may adopt, reject, or modify any recommendations proposed by an advisory workgroup.
Workgroup recommendations will be posted on this page as they become available - see links under the Workgroup Recommendations heading below. If you would like to submit comments regarding the recommendations of a certain workgroup, please submit a message using the appropriate email addresses below.
Buildings and Housing Workgroup
- Energy Efficiency: The state should increase energy efficiency (EE, energy waste reduction, or EWR) for residential, commercial, and industrial; and increase low-income energy efficiency, including multi-family dwellings.
- Electrification: Study and consider the electrification of building appliances as a pathway to reduce and eliminate direct emissions from the building sector; study and account for the impacts of building electrification on the grid, the gas distribution system, and on low-income and energy burdened residents. Michigan's governor or legislature should set a goal of 100% of all new heating equipment sales to be electric by 2035 and set interim targets leading up to 2035 in order to achieve a phased in approach to building electrification.
- Funding and Financing: Funding and financing of all recommendations from this workgroup will be a vital tool to building out and implement the recommendations. Many of the recommendations from this workgroup will be costly to the state, the residents and the business owners, although some of that cost will be offset with decreased utility bills. It is important to utilize all funding and financing opportunities available but also to make more options for funding and financing to energy customers.
- Workforce, Trainings: There is currently a workforce shortage in almost every industry in the state and the nation. The Workforce available for technologically advanced green energy jobs and careers is even more scarce. Careers in energy and specifically in GHG emission reducing energy careers need advanced training and development. The careers in the green energy field are permanent, ever advancing, stable and provide security for persons with the ability and desire to hold these positions.
- Building Codes: The building energy conservation code adoption process is one of the few regulatory levers that state decision-makers have to improve our building stock over time to the benefit of Michiganders and our economy. Building codes ensure that new construction and major renovation projects are better and safer. They also influence what products are readily available on the market for contractors and help standardize construction practices across the industry even in projects where codes don't apply.
Energy Intensive Industries Workgroup
- The Governor should direct the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to initiate a stakeholder process to explore how Michigan's electric and natural gas utilities can deliver carbon neutral fuels to Michigan's industrial sector by 2050.
- The State of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) should support the building and attraction of industrial hubs and clusters, with emphasis on carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS).
- The Governor should direct the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the MPSC to convene a stakeholder workgroup to recommend programs and partnerships to advance energy efficiency and process improvements to enable achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 in the industrial sector.
- The Governor should direct EGLE to form a workgroup to craft, assess, model the potential impacts of, and implement a policy for public procurement of low carbon products, which would create a market demand for low carbon products and support industry to pursue technology innovation that can reduce emissions.
- The Governor should support a federal carbon pricing market.
Energy Production, Transmission, Distribution, and Storage Workgroup
- Implement holistic and integrated energy system planning: The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) should implement a series of measures towards more holistic and integrated energy system planning in Michigan. This should include traditional resource planning, long-range transmission planning, distribution planning, storage planning, consideration of new and emerging resources, planning around areas of interdependency between the electric and natural gas systems, and consideration of community and health impacts.
- Enable behind-the-meter resources: Advance policies that enable behind-the-meter resources, demand control, and demand flexibility including rooftop solar, electric vehicle aggregation and vehicle-to-building and vehicle-to-grid technologies, microgrids and off-grid capabilities, energy storage, and enhanced energy productivity and energy waste reduction while utilizing low-cost financing and prioritizing low-income and environmental justice communities.
- Explore innovative rate designs: Explore innovative rate design concepts, including studies and other considerations in the design of customer rates as decarbonization efforts progress.
- Facilitate siting of necessary energy infrastructure: Adopt state policies and programs that will facilitate siting of necessary renewable generation, storage, and transmission sufficient to achieve a clean energy transition of the electric power sector.
- Evaluate gas system regulatory and policy options: The governor should direct EGLE and/or the Michigan Public Service Commission to initiate a staff-run stakeholder group or proceeding to evaluate opportunities and considerations for changes to gas utility regulatory and policy structures needed to support cost-effective and equitable achievement of the state's economywide greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Materials Decarbonization Workgroup
- Food Waste. Michigan should formally adopt and pursue the joint USDA/USEPA goal to reduce food loss and waste by half no later than 2030, and actively support municipalities and the private sector in deploying best available compositing and anaerobic digestion technologies to divert food and other organics from landfills in a way that protects the environment and public health while creating energy and generating revenue.
- Circular, Low-Carbon Economy. Michigan should position itself as a global leader in the manufacturing and procurement of low-carbon and circular-economy products, starting with immediate efforts to:
- Triple the state's recycling rate to 45% by 2030
- Build upon and accelerate the progress of NextCycle Michigan which is designed to connect quality recycled material streams with manufacturers who produce goods here in Michigan from those materials.
- Strengthen public and private-sector procurement programs to favor the use of low-carbon and circular-economy products.
- Provide comprehensive support to entrepreneurs focused on the design, sustainable packaging, and production of low-carbon and circular-economy products, particularly those that serve the supply-chain needs and decarbonization goals of Michigan companies.
- Reducing Landfill Climate impacts. Michigan should require the installation/maintenance of best-available gas capture systems and promote increased use of energy recovery systems at landfills.
Natural Working Lands and Forest Products Workgroup
- Maintain and develop healthy forests across public and private land.
- Implement a Healthy Soils Act for Michigan in which the Legislature and Governor can set a floor for future funding and attract additional funding for soil, water, and habitat conservation by recognizing that protecting and enhancing the state's soils have a direct impact for climate solutions.
- Protect existing wetlands and waterways, create new and restore wetlands where appropriate, and increase carbon storage in waterway green infrastructure in increase both mitigation and adaptation benefits.
- Enhance and develop a transformative bioeconomy that:
- implements and promotes natural, sustainable, and low-emission materials production and use
- reduces emissions across all NWL commodities (agricultural and forest products)
- reduces waste and increases efficiency, and 4) promotes sustainable land use planning
- Promote climate initiatives and ensure multi-level action for mitigation and adaption across natural and working lands by acting in a leadership capacity, fostering enabling conditions, promoting knowledge transfer, and increasing access to needed data and information.
Transportation and Mobility Workgroup
- Michigan should establish a coordinated and comprehensive transportation electrification plan, supportive of national goals, and allocation of sufficient resources and personnel to responsible state offices to create the plan.
- Michigan should establish a consumer and fleet electric vehicle (EV) incentive program, including new and used EVs, to support a rapid and accelerated transition to EVs among the driving public.
- Michigan should adopt a clean fuels standard as part of a comprehensive approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the state, and as a potential revenue source for enhancing low/no carbon mobility options to more Michiganders.
- The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and regional and local road agencies, should develop plans for implementing GHG budgets into their transportation planning.
- MDOT, metropolitan planning organizations (MPO's), and local transit providers should develop comprehensive plans to expand access to convenient, zero emission public transit throughout the state of Michigan, with a goal of increasing the state's investment by an amount great enough to support the mobility needs of the state's residents.