Governor Whitmer announces MI Healthy Climate Plan

((Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File))
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 3:58 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) -Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the MI Healthy Climate Plan, a roadmap for Michigan to achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050 with interim 2030 goals.

Governor Whitmer joined Liesl Clark, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), business owners, tribal leaders, and students at a large solar array in Traverse City to announce the plan. The MI Healthy Climate Plan proposes climate action that would create tens of thousands of clean-energy jobs, spur economic development and innovation, protect clean air and water, and improve public health.

“Michigan has been impacted by climate change, from a polar vortex and historic floods to dam breaks and week-long power outages. The MI Healthy Climate Plan identifies actions we can take to address climate change head-on, lower costs for Michiganders, ensure every Michigan worker has a good-paying, sustainable job, and every family has clean air, water, and a home powered by clean, reliable energy,” said Governor Whitmer.

The roadmap to 2030 includes several recommendations that focus on growing the state’s renewable energy and energy storage resources, electrifying transportation and buildings, and making energy efficiency improvements more accessible, among others. A few of the key recommendations include:

  • Generate 60 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable resources by adopting a renewable energy standard of 50 percent by 2030.
  • Create more favorable conditions for customer-sited behind-the-meter distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar.
  • Deploy infrastructure to support 2 million electric vehicles (EVs) on Michigan roads by 2030 and fund incentive programs for the purchase of EVs and EV charging.
  • Adopt a statewide energy storage target to deploy 4,000 megawatts (MW) of grid-scale storage by 2040 with interim targets and improve analysis of energy storage resources in utility Integrated Resources Plans through accurate modeling. Energy storage is critical to capturing and efficiently distributing clean, renewable energy, and this target was recently recommended in an energy storage roadmap for the state developed by the Institute for Energy Innovation (IEI) along with Michigan EIBC, 5 Lakes Energy, and Dr. Annick Anctil of Michigan State University.
  • Reduce emissions related to heating homes and businesses by 17 percent by 2030.
  • Support advanced energy through business development, retention, and attraction.
  • Adopt and promote financing opportunities, including through Michigan Saves, on-bill financing, and commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) programs.

EGLE Director Liesl Clark called the plan “uniquely Michigan.”

“It was shaped by a multitude of Michiganders with varied perspectives on climate change,” said Clark. “We heard from environmental justice, public transit, local food, and climate action advocates; an array of business and labor leaders; academic experts and local government officials; and concerned residents of all political persuasions and walks of life. The resulting MI Healthy Climate Plan will be a game-changer for Michigan’s economy and environment. It is a bold plan that a broad cross-section of Michiganders can rally around.”

The MI Healthy Climate Plan builds off the leadership of tribal communities, cities and towns across Michigan, in addition to the private sector.

Governor Whitmer said the plan positions Michigan as a climate action leader and focuses on actions to spur economic development, lower energy and transportation costs for working families and businesses, work towards energy independence, mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, improve public health, and protect natural resources and wildlife.

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