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By the Numbers: Turning Michigan's climate plan into action
March 06, 2023
In the months since April 21, 2022, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) released the MI Healthy Climate Plan, EGLE’s Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) has been busy with its implementation. The plan is Michigan’s roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avert the worst impacts of climate change, protect the health of all Michiganders and our environment, and set Michigan on a path to full carbon neutrality by 2050.
Solar panels at DTE Energy's solar farm near Lapeer.
Here's a look at just a sampling of activities undertaken in 2022 by the State of Michigan, including select activities and milestones of the OCE, the Council on Climate Solutions (CCS), and other partners and stakeholders to support the plan and advance climate action:
- Three wind farms and three solar farms added 725 megawatts of new, utility-scale renewable electricity generation in 2022.
- Five ideation sessions hosted by the OCE tackled zoning, permitting, and siting renewable energy; repairing and weatherizing homes and buildings; creating a statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory; environmental justice and Justice40 capacity building; and securing climate-related federal funding.
- In partnership with EGLE’s Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate, the OCE met seven times with the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice to provide updates and gather input on activities to implement the plan. The OCE also hosted two virtual strategy sessions with support from the Great Plains Institute to help disadvantaged Michigan communities access federal funding and benefits.
- Each of EGLE’s 15 offices and divisions identified at least one “climate liaison” from their team to help the OCE coordinate implementation of the plan. Climate liaisons met seven times in 2022 to share information, align activities with the priorities in the plan, and identify areas for coordination across EGLE.
- In April, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources pledged to plant 50 million trees across Michigan by 2030.
- In May, Gov. Whitmer unveiled the first of approximately 15 EV charging sites to be installed at state parks and a state fish hatchery in Michigan over the next few years.
- In June, EGLE granted $1.24 million in federal funds to a 30-month pilot effort by the Climate Witness Project to advance environmental justice and reduce GHG emissions by helping 10 low-income Michigan congregations of various faiths improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
- EGLE awarded $7 million in recycling grants statewide through the Renew Michigan Fund in 2022. Every dollar invested drives $10 of investment in recycling from private businesses, local governments, and nonprofits.
- Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) has implemented a variety of efficiency upgrades to lower energy costs across state-owned buildings. Exceeding Gov. Whitmer’s expectations of lowering energy intensity in state buildings by 40% by 2040 relative to a 2005 baseline, DTMB has already reduced energy consumption in state buildings by 59% since 2005. These reductions alone have saved taxpayers $53 million.
Learn more about climate action in Michigan over the past year in EGLE’s MI Healthy Climate Plan 2022 Report.