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Launch of Michigan Justice40 Accelerator moves state toward MI Healthy Climate Plan goals

Frontline communities have until Aug. 1 to apply for support in accessing climate and clean energy funding opportunities

Today in Lansing, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), in partnership with Elevate and the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (MEJC), announced the launch of the Michigan Justice40 Accelerator.

The Justice40 accelerator is a joint initiative of EGLE’s Office of Climate and Energy and Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate. The program will provide funding and technical support to 25 community-based organizations in frontline communities across the state helping them access federal funding for clean energy and climate-related projects. Frontline communities are those experiencing the most immediate and worst impacts of climate change. Most often, they are communities of color, Indigenous, and low-income residents.

“Supporting a clean and healthy future for every Michigander is at the center of the state’s work to meet the MI Healthy Climate Plan goals,” said EGLE Director Phil Roos. “With the launch of the Michigan Justice40 Accelerator, the state is reaffirming that commitment with dedicated funding and resources to support the communities that most need them. This program will allow communities to access resources to help them take climate action in their communities; protect our air, land, and water; and most importantly, improve resident’s quality of life. EGLE is committed to ensuring an equitable transition to a more sustainable future for all communities.”

Eligibility details and the application are on EGLE’s Michigan Justice40 Accelerator webpage. Applications are due Aug. 1, 2024. Organizations interested in applying must have a project idea for addressing climate change in their community. This could include projects around resilient infrastructure, clean energy, energy efficiency, clean transportation, affordable and sustainable housing, agriculture and food systems, the remediation and reduction of legacy pollution, critical clean water and waste infrastructure, or training and workforce development related to any of the preceding areas.

EGLE contracted Elevate to operate the program with the MEJC subcontracted to support operations and community engagement. Elevate runs the national Justice40 Accelerator that the Michigan accelerator is modelled on.

“The Michigan Justice40 Accelerator will help create access to clean and affordable energy while ensuring that frontline communities and community-based organizations can lead in the work to combat the ongoing climate crisis,” said Elevate CEO Dr. Anne Evens. “I am grateful for the partnerships with the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. This program builds off of the success of the National Justice40 Accelerator run by Elevate, The Solutions Project, and the Partnership for Southern Equity. We are all excited to see the Michigan program spark local climate solutions. This federal funding will allow nonprofit organizations to further drive the efforts to address environmental disparities and find climate solutions that work for all.”

“The Michigan Justice40 Accelerator is a tremendous opportunity to help directly impacted communities access much-needed government investments,” said Juan Jhong-Chung, executive director of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition. “These resources are critical to remedy the legacy of corporate pollution and to fight climate change. The Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition is committed to deep local community engagement and to ensure that Environmental Justice communities in Michigan are ready to leverage the resources they need to build a clean, healthy future where everyone can thrive.”

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About the MI Healthy Climate Plan

The MI Healthy Climate Plan is Michigan’s roadmap to achieve economywide carbon neutrality by 2050 with interim benchmarks in 2025 and 2030. Its goals are to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis; create good-paying jobs; position Michigan as a climate action leader; and build a healthier and more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable Michigan for all Michiganders. Governor Gretchen Whitmer unveiled the plan April 21, 2022.

To keep up to date on state funding opportunities, events, and climate action initiatives, sign up for Michigan Climate Action News and Updates emails.

About Elevate

Elevate is a Chicago-based nonprofit designing and implementing programs nationally to ensure that everyone has clean and affordable heat, cooling, power, and water in their homes and communities —no matter who they are or where they live.

About the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

The Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition works to achieve a clean, healthy, and safe environment for Michigan residents, in alignment with the Principles of Environmental Justice. The coalition’s multifaceted approach to systems change aligns on intersectional goals with statewide power-building organizations and grassroots groups for policy change and disruption. Every two years, the coalition hosts the Environmental Justice Summit, which this year takes place Sept. 28.

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