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Equitable resilience at core of state's climate change work, EGLE director tells national audience in Detroit
March 10, 2020
Michigan is moving aggressively to address climate change on numerous fronts, with a focus on ensuring that low-income residents and communities of color are equitably represented in the actions, EGLE Director Liesl Clark told an audience at the Climate Leadership Conference in Detroit last week.
"We are thinking not only about the adaptation and stress issues caused by climate but also equity and ensuring that low-income residents and communities of color are provided with the tools to both adapt to climate effects and that they'll benefit from climate initiatives like clean jobs and green infrastructure," she said during a plenary address to the audience.
Clark noted that climate is about:
- Local communities — both urban and rural.
- Mobility — automated, shared, connected and electrified.
- Building infrastructure that will weather the future.
- Protecting the Great Lakes — not just high water/erosion issues but challenges such as wastewater treatment plants, roads, agriculture, and economic.
- Health and quality of life issues, such as heat, respiratory, water-borne and vector-borne diseases
- Ensuring all residents share in climate protections, and in jobs and opportunities presented in clean energy industries
"In Michigan, we're about action," Clark emphasized, citing:
- Gov. Whitmer joining Michigan to the U.S. Climate Alliance.
- The creation of the Office of Climate and Energy.
- The State of Michigan’s lead-by-example activities.
- Modeling to inform next steps.
- The Michigan Public Service Commission’s statewide energy assessment and MI Power Grid initiative.
- The Upper Peninsula Energy Task Force.
- Legislation and administrative actions to remove barriers and streamline permitting.
"All of this adds up to real progress for Michigan," she said.
Watch the video of Clark's remarks starting at the 34:37 mark.