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By the numbers: MI Healthy Climate Plan progress

One year ago, in her January 2023 State of the State address, Governor Gretchen Whitmer rallied Michiganders to the cause of climate action with the words, “Let’s get it done!”

Cover of MI Healthy Climate Plan 2023 report

Much has happened since then. The first full calendar year since the MI Healthy Climate Plan (MHCP) rolled out in April 2022 saw many of the plan’s goals codified in legislation and advanced through executive actions. With unprecedented climate investments from federal and state sources, Michigan is positioned better than ever to fulfill the MHCP for the benefit of all Michiganders.

The MHCP’s overarching goal is a healthy, prosperous, carbon-neutral Michigan for all residents by 2050. Specifically, its objectives are to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, spur economic development and create good-paying jobs, protect and improve the health of Michiganders, position Michigan as a leader in climate action, safeguard our natural resources and wildlife, make Michigan energy independent, and address environmental injustice.

The new MHCP 2023 Report details the productive past year in Michigan climate action. Here’s a look at some of the report’s noteworthy numbers:

  • No 1. in the Midwest for clean energy jobs: Michigan’s status according to Clean Jobs Midwest. New laws in 2023 build on that leadership by spurring of thousands of jobs and adopting some of the nation’s strongest labor standards for clean energy projects.
  • Three Council on Climate Solutions meetings on MHCP implementation: The advisory body convened in February, May, and August to address the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, the bipartisan 2023-24 State Budget, climate action at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, updates of the Office of Environmental Justice Public Advocate and the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice, the Clean Energy Future legislative package, and more.
  • Three webinars in the MHCP Series: The first OCE-hosted webinar, in July, was an overview of the MHCP and upcoming implementation opportunities. The second, in October, covered leveraging CPRG funds for implementing the plan. The third, in November, focused on the new MI Healthy Climate Corps (MHC Corps), a collaboration with AmeriCorps and state and local partners to help communities harness the power of national service to address climate change. Together, people from across the state have registered for webinars in the series 1,900 times.
  • Eight public meetings for climate action feedback: The OCE hosted six fall meetings in person -- in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Acme, Petoskey, and Marquette --  and two virtual meetings to gather feedback from residents across the state on portions of the MHCP they would like to see prioritized for implementation and in the context of the EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program. More than 670 residents participated.
  • Over 21% state recycling rate: EGLE leaders announced in April that recycling in Michigan is at an all-time high, up from just over 14% before 2019. EGLE’s 2023 data analysis reflects the state’s improved recycling performance is helping Michigan advance toward MI Healthy Climate Plan targets.
  • 100% clean energy by 2040: This requirement in 2023 clean energy legislation signed by the Governor also requires 80% of Michigan’s energy to be generated by clean sources by 2035. The standards make Michigan one of the most progressive states in the nation on clean energy and the strongest state on clean energy policy in the Midwest. The MHCP’s goal is 100% clean energy no later than 2050. The 2023 legislation set additional standards including:
    • 60% renewable energy by 2035.
    • 10% cap on distributed energy generation resources: This increase from 1% opens options for customer-driven renewable energy, such as rooftop solar and voluntary green pricing programs.
    • 2,500 megawatts (MW) of grid-scale power storage by 2030: This matches the 2030 interim goal in the MHCP.
    • 1.5% annual increase in Energy Waste Reduction: Also sets a standard of 2% for electric utilities and corresponding increases for natural gas utilities. The MHCP calls for a 2% annual electric energy efficiency savings.
  • 116 Tree City USA communities: In April 2023, two new communities, St. Charles (Saginaw County) and Northport (Leelanau County), joined more than 100 Michigan towns, cities and schools earning Tree City USA status for efforts to promote and care for public trees. A total of 116 communities, two health care facilities and nine college campuses have been recognized through their respective programs.
  • $145 a year in energy cost savings: Estimated annual average for a Michigan household under the new clean energy laws.
  • 230 registered Michigan Sustainability Conference attendees: The October event in Gaylord also featured a preconference Catalyst Communities Workshop to discuss sustainability-related technical assistance resources for local governments.
  • 250 registered Michigan Environmental Justice Conference attendees: In June, EGLE’s Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate collaborated with the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice and the Michigan Interagency Environmental Justice Response Team to host the first in-person Michigan Environmental Justice Conference. The sold-out conference was held in Detroit.
  • 599 registered MI Healthy Climate Conference attendees: EGLE also held specialized engagement and resource-sharing sessions during the two-day event in Detroit in April. The 2024 MI Healthy Climate Conference is scheduled May 16 to 17 in Lansing.
  • 4,864 email subscriptions for Michigan Climate Action News & Updates: The email listserv was created in March to engage with Michiganders interested in State of Michigan climate-related activities. Since its creation, 10 monthly climate bulletins have been sent out.
  • 52,016 electric- and hybrid-powered passenger vehicles: At least 38,516 electric vehicles (EV) and 13,500 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are registered in Michigan. The state also has at least 1,340 EV chargers with 3,041 ports. In October, EGLE announced $1.2 million in funding available for matching grants to advance strategic deployment of EV infrastructure along Lake Michigan.
  • Nearly 124,000 clean energy jobs: Despite economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, jobs in clean energy have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels. The state saw a 4.6% increase in the number of clean energy jobs between 2021 and 2022, leading the Midwest and ranking first in the region with nearly 124,000 clean energy jobs. According to the most recent Clean Jobs Midwest report, 60.6% of total clean energy jobs in 2022 were in the energy efficiency sector and the clean transportation sector was the fastest growing with a 14.4% increase in clean transportation jobs.
  • $3.06 million for an electric-powered Mackinac Island ferry: In March, a $3.06 million for an electric-powered Mackinac Island ferry: award from EGLE’s Fuel Transformation Program (FTP) Part 2 will support the first-ever conversion of a Mackinac Island passenger ferry to zero-emissions electric power. This grant will help Star Line, now known as Mackinac Island Ferry Co., convert the 84-foot passenger ferry Chippewa from diesel to electric propulsion.
  • $1 billion-plus budgeted for climate action: Governor Whitmer’s combined bipartisan fiscal year (FY) 2023 supplemental and FY 2024 state budgets invest more than $1 billion to implement the MHCP. Here’s a breakdown:
    • $350 million to start the Make it in Michigan Match Competitiveness Fund to leverage federal funding.
    • About $312 million in home and business energy efficiency, including $212 million in rebates for energy efficient home upgrades; $50 million to upgrade school water systems and energy, including building on-site renewables; and $25 million to repair and weatherize homes to enable clean energy upgrades.
    • About $265 million for energy, including $150 million to restart the Palisades Nuclear Facility, which provides 800 MW of clean energy; $43 million to enhance the electric grid and reduce power outages; and $30 million to EGLE to launch Renewable-Ready Communities, a program to incentivize communities to host utility-scale renewables.
    • About $261 million for mobility upgrades, including $125 million to help school districts buy clean school buses; $70 million to expand clean transportation options, such as transit and high-speed rail; and $45 million to expand operating budgets for transit agencies.
    • About $21 million for environmental justice (EJ) climate initiatives: $20 million to EGLE to improve air quality and clean up contamination in EJ communities, and $1 million to EGLE to expand activities that reduce environmental impacts in EJ communities.
    • About $14.4 million to protect Michigan’s natural lands and waters: $13 million for agricultural climate resiliency and soil health to research new regenerative agriculture practices and help farmers reduce runoff and diversify crops and $1.4 million to expand capacity around climate and natural lands programs.
    • $14 million for MHCP implementation including planning, staffing, and new programs.
    • $10.3 million to address all of Michigan’s orphan wells.
    • $2.1 million to launch the MHC Corps.

Learn more about the MHCP and Michigan climate action through the plan’s online hub, MI Healthy Climate Plan (