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Public comment, listening sessions will help chart Michigan climate future

January 19, 2022

Draft plan aims to position state as leader in slashing emissions, creating resilient, equitable economy

The initial draft of a statewide plan to position Michigan as a national leader in slashing greenhouse gas emissions and securing associated economic and job-creation opportunities is open for public input and comment through Feb. 14.

The draft MI Healthy Climate Plan builds on progress the state, utilities, and numerous local communities are making toward Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's goal of achieving economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. It was developed with input from a wide swath of Michiganders and the expertise of the Michigan Council on Climate Solutions (Climate Council).

"This is a uniquely Michigan plan designed to chart a path toward a safer, healthier and more economically vibrant Michigan that aggressively slashes greenhouse gas emissions fueling climate change. It also strives to protect, support and empower those most vulnerable to the impacts of an increasingly volatile climate," said Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

EGLE is developing the plan through the state's Office of Climate and Energy.

"We look forward to the upcoming robust discussions that will create a final plan that protects Michiganders and at the same time positions the state to take advantage of new technologies, economic trends, visionary ventures and the jobs they create," said Clark. "Being left behind in the next economy is not an option."

Clark praised the vision and work of the Climate Council members who developed the plan over the course of 12 months.

"The expertise and dedication of the 14 members of the Climate Council - representing a wide range of sectors and experiences - has created an inspiring start to what will be a long process of guiding Michigan to climate responsibility and economic vibrance," said Clark. "I cannot overstate our appreciation for the selfless and tireless work of these individuals, who will continue to be fully engaged as the plan is molded through the public participation process."

Public comment on the plan is open through Friday, Feb. 14. Two virtual listening sessions will take place where oral comments will be recorded.

  • Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to Noon
  • Feb. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.

 Information on how to submit comments and/or register for the listening sessions is provided at the bottom of this release.

The plan calls on leaders from the public and private sector to work in concert toward opportunities to advance equity, improve quality of life and create visionary new economic solutions while transitioning away from carbon-based fuels and other climate pollutants. It recommends a combination of state lead-by-example initiatives, investments in infrastructure, support for local communities and state policy levers to spur development of sustainable low-carbon ventures.

The draft plan illuminates opportunities available to the governor, to state lawmakers who will make the necessary state policy changes and budgetary decisions, to engineers and entrepreneurs who will turn cutting edge climate solutions into high-quality jobs and economic prosperity, to the automobile sector that is so critical to our state's economic health, and to community leaders and advocates who will ensure this work reaches every corner of the state and benefits every Michigan family.

Michigan must capitalize on assets that make the Great Lakes State unique, Climate Council members agreed, including the state's unmatched freshwater resources, diverse agricultural products, world-class outdoor recreation, and talented people and vibrant communities. Michigan's heritage as a global manufacturing innovator and growing wind energy sector also positions it to continue leadership roles in vehicle electrification and clean power generation.

"Climate change is an urgent challenge and this blueprint focuses on the collaboration that is necessary from multiple players to move Michigan into a leadership role with a focus on equitable solutions that create opportunities to improve the well-being of all Michiganders - particularly those in disinvested communities - to benefit," said Dr. Phyllis Meadows, a senior fellow with The Kresge Foundation's Health Program and member of the Climate Council.

"It focuses on Michigan-specific needs and challenges, while recognizing the state's role in the national and global discussion about shifting quickly to more sustainable and just practices," continued Meadows. "The process to prepare the draft involved hundreds of individuals from a variety of backgrounds. To be successful, Michigan will need to continue this engagement work with residents, businesses large and small, and communities to create a framework to get a lot done quickly and with no Michigander left behind."

Information on submitting public comments and/or attending, commenting at upcoming listening session

Members of the public can email comments or suggested changes at any time to EGLE-ClimateSolutions@Michigan.gov or attend a listening session at which everyone will be given an opportunity to give feedback verbally. Comments can be made on any item mentioned in the draft Plan or suggestions can be shared on items you believe should be covered but are not currently included. Two online public listening sessions have been scheduled, one on January 26 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (noon), and the second on February 8 from 6-8 p.m. The draft MI Healthy Climate Plan can be found on EGLE's Office of Climate and Energy website.

 Wednesday, 1/26 10-12 Noon - Draft MI Healthy Climate Plan - Public Listening Session 1

To attend the online public information meeting register at https://bit.ly/3qoEx7e. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you do not have internet access and would like to join by PHONE ONLY please use the following phone number: 636-651-3142, and use conference code 374288. Pre-registration is not required to attend the meeting. Individuals interested in participating can click the link above at the start of the event (10:00 a.m.).

Individuals needing language assistance or accommodations for effective participation at the meeting should contact Kimber Frantz 517-284-5035 or FrantzK@Michigan.gov by January 21 to request language, mobility, visual, hearing, translation, and/or other assistance.

Tuesday, 2/8 6-8 PM - Draft MI Healthy Climate Plan - Public Listening Session 2

To attend the online public information meeting register at https://bit.ly/3zYkU9a. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you do not have internet access and would like to join by PHONE ONLY please use the following phone number: 636-651-3142, and use conference code 374288. Pre-registration is not required to attend the meeting. Individuals interested in participating can click the link above at the start of the event (6 p.m.).

Individuals needing language assistance or accommodations for effective participation at the meeting should contact Kimber Frantz 517-284-5035 or FrantzK@Michigan.gov by January 28 to request language, mobility, visual, hearing, translation, and/or other assistance.

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EGLE does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, national origin, color, marital status, disability, political beliefs, height, weight, genetic information or sexual orientation in the administration of any of its programs or activities, and prohibits intimidation and retaliation, as required by applicable laws and regulations.

 

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