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Michigan’s future depends on climate protection

The MI Healthy Climate Plan (MHCP), unveiled by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just over seven months ago, is Michigan’s long-term plan to fight climate change, create good jobs, and build a better, healthier future for all Michiganans. Perhaps the most important number in the plan is 100% — which represents the goal of a completely carbon neutral economy in Michigan by 2050.

An aerial view of the corner brewery in Ypsilanti;  It is a brick building surrounded by green trees and the roof is covered with solar panels.

Solar panels on the roof of the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti.

To hone your climate literacy in Michigan, here are plenty of other key numbers in the mix:

Three: In degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature increase in Michigan from 1900 to the present.

$4-$11: The savings Michigan will make in preventing future damage for every dollar it spends on climate change adaptation, according to a study by the National Institute of Building Sciences.

Five: Sectors of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sources and their percentage by which they affect Michigan’s total GHG emissions in 2019 (updated from 2005 figures in the MHCP as published):

  • Power generation, 29%
  • Transportation, 25%
  • The built environment (dwellings, shops and other buildings), 17%
  • Energy-intensive industries, 14%
  • Agriculture and Waste: 8%
  • natural areas, -7%

Six: fields of action in the plan’s “Roadmap to 2030”. to reduce GHG emissions by 52% from 2005 levels:

  • Electricity Grid: Generating 60% of the state’s electricity from renewable resources and decommissioning the remaining coal-fired power plants. Limit the energy burden of providing electricity and heating homes to no more than 6% of annual income for low-income households.
  • Electric Vehicles and Public Transport: Build infrastructure to support 2 million electric vehicles. Increase access to clean transport – including public transport – by 15% per year.
  • Home and Business Repair and Decarbonization: Reduce heating-related emissions by 17%.
  • Clean energy jobs and industrial innovation: Support clean innovation hubs, triple recycling rate to 45%. Reduce food waste by 50%.
  • Land and Water: Protect 30% of land and water to reduce greenhouse gases naturally. Improving access to leisure opportunities and protecting biodiversity. Support climate-smart agriculture.
  • Environmental Justice: Direct 40% or more of the benefits of climate finance and initiatives to disadvantaged communities. Ensure a just transition for all workers through proactive engagement, job training and people development.

Seven: Targets:

  • Mitigating the worst effects of climate change.
  • Promote economic development and well-paid jobs.
  • Protection and improvement of public health.
  • Make Michigan a leader in climate action.
  • Protect our natural resources and wildlife.
  • Make Michigan energy independent.
  • address environmental injustices.

Eight: Target results for every Michigander by 2050:

  • Clean air to breathe and water to drink.
  • Affordable, reliable, clean energy.
  • Well-paying, sustainable jobs to support families.
  • Clean, affordable transportation.
  • A healthy, sustainable and efficient home.
  • Healthy, affordable, local food.
  • Safe natural spaces to enjoy.
  • Community resources for resilience to the impacts of climate change.

11%: Current approximate amount of Michigan’s total in-state electricity generated from renewable sources.

13: Number of other US states with macroeconomic mitigation goals at the time of the MHCP announcement.

16: As of 2022, the number of communities in Michigan with a goal to be carbon neutral or achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.

40%: Energy consumption reduction target for government buildings by 2040.

73%: Particulate matter pollution from power plants has decreased since 2005 as the government switched from coal to cleaner energy sources.

100%: Renewable energy target for powering government facilities by 2025.

1,929: Number of public comments received during the drafting of the MHCP, at listening sessions, and via email and post.

$6,000-$10,000: Crowd EV owners are expected to make savings over the life of the vehicle compared to a petrol-powered vehicle, as charging costs half the cost of the equivalent amount of petrol and EVs require half the number of repairs and cost half the maintenance.

More than 113,000: A growing number of clean energy jobs across all Michigan regions — the majority in manufacturing (57%) and construction (21.7%) — that pay up to 25% more than the national median wage.

For the full picture, browse the full MI Healthy Climate Plan online. It’s about 50 pages long and includes photos and infographics.

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