Michigan

Registration Open for Michigan’s MI Healthy Climate Conference

This spring, Michigan’s first MI Healthy Climate Conference will bring together hundreds of Michigan leaders striving to put climate goals into action as the one-year anniversary of the release of the MI Healthy Climate Plan approaches.

Wed Conference on Healthy Climate 11.-12.  April 2023

Registration for the April 11-12 event at Huntington Place in Detroit is open and supported by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Sustainability Division and the EGLE Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) coordinated.

The MI Healthy Climate Plan is Michigan’s roadmap for a healthy, prosperous, sustainable and equitable clean energy future. It sets the overarching goal of a 100% carbon neutral economy by 2050, with 2030 benchmarks for electric vehicle infrastructure, recycling, energy equity, clean energy generation and more. After a trial attended by hundreds of Michiganders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the plan on April 21, 2022. The OCE is responsible for its implementation.

“As we enter a second term under the leadership of Governor Whitmer and with a new legislature, we look forward to moving from planning to action,” said Cory Connolly, OCE climate and energy adviser. “The MI Healthy Climate Conference is a way to bring Michiganans together for concerted action.”

Connolly said the conference aims to act as a catalyst and help motivate participants – up to 500 stakeholders from business, industry, labor and communities; non-profit organizations and interest groups; local, state and tribal governments; and advocates of justice and environmental justice – to meet the challenges of the plan.

“To deliver on the governor’s bold promises, we in the state of Michigan must take equally bold action. But just as important, we need to mobilize as many people and institutions as possible to tackle the climate challenge,” said Connolly. “As the saying goes: it takes everyone to change everything.”

The event will feature speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions, workshop roundtables, networking opportunities and more focused on achieving the 2030 goals in six key areas:

  • Clean the power grid: Shutting down Michigan’s remaining coal-fired power plants, generating 60% of its electricity from renewable sources, and ensuring that households pay no more than 6% of their annual income for electricity and heat.
  • Electrify transport and strengthen local public transport: Build infrastructure to support two million electric vehicles and improve access to clean transportation – including public transit – by 15% per year.
  • Home and Business Repair and Decarbonization: 17% reduction in emissions associated with heating homes and businesses in Michigan.
  • Driving industrial innovation: Tripled Michigan’s recycling rate to 45%, reduced food waste by 50%, and encouraged the development of clean manufacturing innovation centers for private companies.
  • Protect Michigan’s Land and Water: Protecting 30% of Michigan’s land and waters to naturally absorb carbon emissions, maintain and improve access to recreation opportunities, protect biodiversity, and support low-carbon agriculture.
  • Commit to environmental justice and strive for a just transition: Direct at least 40% of benefits from climate and energy spending to underserved communities, who often bear the brunt of climate impacts and risk being left behind in economic transitions.

The MI Healthy Climate Plan was designed to avert the worst effects of climate change, improve health outcomes, promote equity and environmental justice, and create new economic opportunities and benefits for all Michiganans. The MI Healthy Climate Conference will be followed just months later by the Michigan Environmental Justice Conference 2023, presented by the EGLE Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate on June 21-22 at the University of Detroit-Mercy campus in Detroit.

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