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Registration open for Michigan's MI Healthy Climate conference

This spring, the first State of Michigan MI Healthy Climate Conference will bring together hundreds of Michigan leaders eager to turn climate goals into action as the one-year anniversary of the release of the MI Healthy Climate Plan draws near.

Mi Healthy Climate Conference April 11-12, 2023

Registration is open for the April 11-12 event at Huntington Place in Detroit, supported by the Sustainability Section of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and coordinated through EGLE’s Office of Climate and Energy (OCE).

The MI Healthy Climate Plan is Michigan’s roadmap to a healthy, prosperous, sustainable, and equitable clean energy future. It sets an overarching goal of a 100% carbon-neutral economy by 2050, with 2030 benchmarks for electric vehicle infrastructure, recycling, energy justice, clean energy generation, and more. After a process that gathered input from hundreds of Michiganders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the plan April 21, 2022. The OCE is responsible for its implementation.

“As we enter a second term under Governor Whitmer’s leadership and with a new legislative session, we are excited to pivot from planning to action,” OCE Climate and Energy Advisor Cory Connolly said. “The MI Healthy Climate Conference is a way to bring Michiganders together for concerted action.”

Connolly said the conference seeks to serve as a catalyst and help motivate attendees – as many as 500 stakeholders in business, industry, labor, and communities; nonprofits and advocacy groups; local, state, and tribal governments; and proponents of equity and environmental justice – to meet the plan’s challenges.

“To meet the bold commitments the governor has made, we at the State of Michigan have to take equally bold action. But just as importantly, we need to mobilize as many people and institutions as possible to meet the climate challenge,” Connolly said. “As the saying goes: To change everything, you need everyone.”

The event will feature speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions, workshop roundtables, networking opportunities, and more, focused around reaching the 2030 targets in six core areas:

  • Clean the electric grid: Closing Michigan’s remaining coal plants, generating 60% of electricity from renewable sources, and ensuring that households pay no more than 6% of their annual income for power and heat.
  • Electrify transportation and increase public transit: Building infrastructure to support two million electric vehicles and increasing access to clean transportation – including public transit – by 15% a year.
  • Repair and decarbonize homes and businesses: Reducing emissions related to heating Michigan’s homes and businesses by 17%.
  • Drive industrial innovation: Tripling Michigan’s recycling rate to 45%, reducing food waste by 50%, and encouraging development of clean manufacturing innovation hubs for private enterprises.
  • Protect Michigan’s land and water: Protecting 30% of Michigan lands and waters to naturally absorb carbon emissions, maintain and improve access to recreation, protect biodiversity, and support climate-smart agriculture.
  • Commit to environmental justice and pursue a just transition: Directing at least 40% of the benefits from climate and energy spending to underserved communities that often bear the brunt of climate impacts and risk being left behind in economic transitions.

The MI Healthy Climate Plan is designed to avert the worst impacts of climate change, improve health outcomes, advance equity and environmental justice, and create new economic opportunities and benefits for all Michiganders. The MI Healthy Climate Conference will be followed just a couple of months later by the 2023 Michigan Environmental Justice Conference, presented by EGLE’s Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate June 21-22 at the University of Detroit-Mercy campus in Detroit.