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Lt. Governor Cherry Signs Agreement with Top United Kingdom Official Addressing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases

May 12, 2008

DETROIT - On behalf of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Lt. Governor John D. Cherry Jr. today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a top British official that pledges to work jointly to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and increase climate-friendly commerce between Michigan and the United Kingdom.

"We must have the vision to capture the opportunity that lies within the global effort to abate greenhouse gas emissions," Cherry said Monday while signing the agreement with the Right Honorable Hilary Benn, the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.  "The opportunities are real and available only if we have the resolve.  The people of Michigan look forward to a new era of cooperation and collaboration with the United Kingdom." 

The agreement calls for Michigan and the United Kingdom to discuss concepts for a post 2012 climate regime that builds upon and broadens existing global arrangements to protect the planet's climate, improves public policies that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, increasing the emphasis on sciences and technologies that focus on renewable energy generation and strengthens climate-friendly commerce between the United Kingdom and Michigan.

"Fighting dangerous climate change will involve immense effort from us all - and it's clear that in the U.S.A., states like Michigan can play a critical role, both in cutting emissions and laying the foundations for a low-carbon economy," Secretary of State Hilary Benn said.  "Low carbon growth will open up economic opportunities, attract investment, and create green-collar jobs.  As governments, our job is to make sure the conditions are right for the coming economic transformation - and by working in cooperation, we can help to ensure that the coming green industrial revolution is truly global."

Since taking office, Granholm has joined with other Midwest states in a commitment to build the architecture of a market-based voluntary cap and trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Granholm also initiated the development of a state climate action plan by establishing the Michigan Climate Action Council, a group of 35 state leaders comprised of representatives from public interest groups, environmental organizations, utilities, the manufacturing sector, and other key industries, universities, and state and local governments to discuss climate change and its implications for the economy.

Last month, the state of Michigan joined with other states at Yale University to drive federal action and state cooperation in tackling climate change through a commitment to innovation and clean technology development.

"Governor Granholm has recognized, as have many others, that implementing clean technology strategies to reduce emissions may not be costly but if properly implemented through sound policies, will benefit the economy of Michigan," Cherry said. 

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