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Michigan Ag News Headlines
First Meeting of Council on Climate Solutions Thursday
Michigan Ag Connection - 02/23/2021

The Council on Climate Solutions has scheduled its inaugural, organizational meeting for Feb. 25 to discuss the goals and expectations for the group as it advises the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) in developing an effective and equitable strategy to achieve economywide carbon neutrality by 2050.

"The first meeting of the Council on Climate Solutions marks a critical step in our fight against climate change," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. "The incredible team that we've assembled understands the importance of implementing bold climate solutions that work for Michigan. Their work to develop the MI Healthy Climate Plan will protect public health and the environment and help develop new clean energy jobs by putting Michigan on a path towards becoming fully carbon-neutral by 2050."

"The members of the Council on Climate Solutions already play leadership roles in key climate-related sectors and bring a wealth of relevant experiences and expertise to our effort," EGLE Director Liesl Clark said. "I look forward to hearing their creative ideas, wise advice and insightful feedback to help craft a strong MI Healthy Climate Plan and put Michigan on the path to achieving Governor Whitmer's ambitious goal to fully decarbonize our economy by 2050."

Among the Council's goals are:

- Identify and recommend opportunities to develop and implement emissions-reduction strategies.

- Identify solutions to resolve impact disparities across Michigan and recommend targeted solutions for communities disproportionately impacted by climate change.

The Council's work will focus on areas such as power generation and transmission; transportation; housing and buildings; natural and working lands; and energy intensive industries. Foundational to the work of the Council is input from the Climate Justice Brain Trust, which will help guide the Council and the Office of Climate and Energy's work in identifying barriers that impede environmental justice communities from realizing the benefits of the energy sector's transition to cleaner energy sources.

The public is invited to join the online meeting at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. A Microsoft Teams meeting link has been posted to the Council on Climate Solutions webpage. Those who cannot attend online can join by phone. Dial 248-509-0316, followed by the meeting ID 569 607 521#.

Individuals needing language assistance or accommodations for effective participation in the meeting should contact Kimber Frantz at 517-284-5035 before the meeting to request language, mobility, visual, hearing, translation, and/or other assistance.

Whitmer's Executive Directive 2020-10 established the goal of carbon neutrality no later than 2050, with an interim goal of 28 percent reduction below 2005 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The MI Healthy Climate Plan also calls for developing plans to help communities that will be most affected by changes to the mix of energy production facilities in Michigan and minimizing the loss of jobs, property taxes and community services, as well as reducing energy use in state buildings by 40 percent by 2040. A draft report on objectives that Michigan can achieve in five years is due to the Governor by Sept. 1 with a final report due Dec. 31. Executive Order 2020-182 established the Council and its role in the process.

Future meeting materials and information will be posted to the Council on Climate Solutions webpage www.michigan.gov/egle/0,9429,7-135-3306_88771_102482---,00.html


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