LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — After months of discussions and planning, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has released the final draft of the state’s climate plan.
Named the MI Healthy Climate Plan, the top priority is to make Michigan a carbon-neutral state by 2050, setting benchmarks along the way. For 2030, the directive calls for the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 52% and generate 60% of its electricity from renewable sources.
State departments will also work on promoting electric vehicles by funding incentive programs dedicated to purchasing EVs and EV charging stations.
EGLE has set a goal of building and deploying an energy storage grid to house 4,000 megawatts while capturing and distributing clean, renewable energy.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hailed the plan, calling it a great roadmap that will create tens of thousands of new jobs through clean energy and spur economic development and innovation.
“If we follow the steps outlined in the plan and collaborate with public and private sector partners, we can build a Michigan where every Michigander has clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and access to healthy, affordable local food,” Whitmer said in a Thursday statement. “Today, we are positioning Michigan to become the global center of clean energy innovation where workers can get good-paying jobs, from those that don’t require a college degree to careers in advanced engineering and science. We can protect our beautiful public lands and majestic Great Lakes, driven by our unyielding belief in a brighter future.”
Liesl Eichler Clark, the director of EGLE, called the plan unique to Michigan and said it was shaped by Michiganders committed to fighting climate change while advancing our economy.
“This plan is also rooted in what makes our state special,” she said in a statement. “No state is better positioned than Michigan to advance equity, create good-paying jobs, increase economic competitiveness, and improve quality of life in pursuing carbon neutrality thanks to our unmatched freshwater resources and heritage as a global manufacturing innovator, diverse agricultural producer, world-class outdoor recreation hub, and home to talented people and vibrant communities.”
Clark said the plan takes some big steps while also asking everyone to do their part for the environment.
“The responsibility for implementing this plan and refining it over time is ours. All 10 million of us have big parts to play in decarbonizing our economy – from the governor and state lawmakers who will make the necessary state policy changes and budgetary decisions to the workers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs who will turn cutting edge climate solutions into high-quality jobs and economic prosperity,” Clark said.
Whitmer announced her plans to take big action on climate change in 2020, launching the Council on Climate Solutions to develop the MI Healthy Climate plan. The first draft was published in January and was followed by several listening sessions for feedback.
The governor’s 2023 budget proposal includes more than $500 million dedicated to fund climate and clean energy initiatives.