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EGLE kicks off MI Healthy Climate Conference

Two-day event brings hundreds to Lansing to advance MI Healthy Climate Plan goals

Today, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) kicked off the second annual MI Healthy Climate Conference with the theme of “Accelerating Action.” The goal of the conference, May 16-17 at the Lansing Center, is to motivate Michiganders to keep advancing the goals in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan (MHCP) and recently enacted historic clean energy legislation, and to bring home federal climate and clean energy-related funding.

“Michigan has emerged as a national leader on clean energy and climate action with our game-changing package of new laws, big projects, and growing economic momentum,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Since last year’s climate conference, we established a 100% clean energy standard by 2040, passed a budget with hundreds of millions of dollars for climate, supported tens of thousands of good-paying clean energy jobs, and made it easier to build wind and solar faster. We still have more work to do, but I am a climate optimist. We will continue leading and defining the future. Let’s get it done.”

“We are better positioned than ever to make the most of federal investments, state climate legislation, and executive actions to meet the MI Healthy Climate Plan’s ambitious goal of a carbon-neutral economy by 2050,” EGLE Director Phil Roos said. “Events such as the MI Healthy Climate Conference demonstrate Michigan’s cooperative spirit of working with anyone and finding every opportunity for action as we collectively combat the climate crisis.”

The conference kicked off with more than 900 attendees representing local, state, federal, and tribal governments; universities; nonprofits; community groups; businesses; and more from throughout Michigan.

Conference-goers will hear from a diverse slate of more than 60 thought leaders and experts, from state government, the White House and federal departments, local governments, universities, advocates, and the private sector, sharing success stories, challenges, funding opportunities, technical assistance, and other activity in the MHCP’s six priority areas:

  • Committing to Environmental Justice and a just transition.
  • Cleaning the electrical grid.
  • Electrifying vehicles and increasing public transit.
  • Repairing and decarbonizing homes and businesses.
  • Driving clean innovation in industry.
  • Protecting Michigan’s land and water.

The conference continues through 5 p.m. today and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday. The roster of speakers over both days includes but is not limited to the following elected officials and cabinet members:

  • State Representative Abraham Aiyash. 
  • State Senator Sarah Anthony.
  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian.
  • Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Tim Boring. 
  • State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks.
  • Executive Director and CEO of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority Amy Hovey.
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO Quentin Messer.
  • EGLE Director Phil Roos.
  • City of Lansing Mayor Andy Schor.
  • Michigan Public Service Commission Chair Dan Scripps. 
  • State Senator Sam Singh.

For more information on the conference agenda, including a full roster of speakers and topics, visit our MI Healthy Climate Conference page.

The MI Healthy Climate Conference is also part of Great Lakes Green Events, an initiative of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers, which Governor Whitmer chairs. Through this initiative, EGLE commits to promoting and implementing sustainable practices like reducing food waste and eliminating single-use plastics at the conference. Great Lakes Green Events also creates a positive footprint by supporting tree-planting projects in local communities. 

One such project took place Wednesday, May 15, in downtown Lansing. EGLE Director Phil Roos joined volunteers from EGLE’s MI Healthy Climate Corps to plant trees around the headquarters building of the Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America as part of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Trees Initiative to plant 250 million trees in the region by 2033.

About the MI Healthy Climate Plan

Governor Whitmer signed executive order 2020-182 and executive directive 2020-10 committing Michigan to achieving economywide carbon neutrality no later than 2050 with interim reductions of 28% by 2025 and 52% by 2030 to ensure steady progress and to maintain net negative greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) after 2050.

The Governor tasked EGLE and the Council on Climate Solutions with developing a plan to meet these goals. With participation from stakeholders all over Michigan, this work culminated in the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The plan positions Michigan as a climate action leader and focuses on actions to spur economic development and create good-paying jobs, lower energy and transportation costs for working families and businesses, work toward energy independence, mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, improve public health, and protect natural resources and wildlife.

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