Press Release

Michigan has Potential to Reduce Emissions by Over 94%

New Report Models Actions Needed to Meet Climate Goals

Jesus Canchola Sanchez, NRDC
 jcanchola@nrdc.org, (312) 847-6808 

Beau Brockett, MEC
beau@environmentalcouncil.org, (586) 453-5362 

LANSING, MI - A new report outlines the most feasible and ambitious set of policies that would help Michigan reduce greenhouse gases and health-harming pollution while putting the state on a strong path for meeting its climate goals. The “2030 Report: How Michigan Should Meet Its Climate Change Goals" builds on the state’s climate roadmap—the "MI Healthy Climate Plan" —which charts the course for meeting Governor Whitmer’s goal of reaching carbon neutrality state-wide by 2050. It outlines a suite of policies that are necessary to achieving the goals of the state’s plan. The report is based on analysis done by 5 Lakes Energy, in collaboration with RMI, the Michigan Environmental Council, and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).  

The 2030 Report concludes that the "MI Healthy Climate Plan" puts Michigan on a strong path to begin to tackle the emissions necessary to ensure a livable climate, and to capitalize on the growing cost-effectiveness and popular support for clean energy. It also finds that reaching Michigan’s climate goals will require even more ambitious action in the near term than is currently outlined in the state’s roadmap. From 2020 to 2030, the policies outlined would cut emissions by over 72 million metric tons, compared to about 52 million metric tons based on the policies found in the "MI Healthy Climate Plan." 

“The report’s modeling confirms that Michigan has a real chance to lead on climate solutions, but policy matters,” said Charlotte Jameson, chief policy officer for Michigan Environmental Council. “Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 requires more aggressive actions in the near-term than the state is currently on track for. Michigan decision-makers should use the findings of this report to craft a concrete policy agenda for climate action and move swiftly to implement it.” 

The report's modeling outlines the four policy areas that would put the state on a strong trajectory to meet its climate goals: 

  1. Clean Power - Enact a 100% clean electricity standard, additional to the "MI Healthy Climate Plan" recommendation of a 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2030. This would include the state’s recommended phase-out of coal plants by 2030 and an end to the construction of new gas-fired power plants.
  2. Pollution-Free Buildings – Strongly incent building component electrification, coupled with energy efficiency. To ensure electric appliances are available and cost-effective for Michiganders, set a building electrification standard that requires 100% of all new heating equipment sales to be electric by 2035, and interim targets leading up to 2035. 
  3. Clean Vehicles – Adopt clean cars and trucks sales standards, ramping up to 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030, and introduce incentives to speed up the turn-over of vehicles on Michigan’s roads. 
  4. Electrified Industry – Provide incentives to electrify industrial energy sources (or for hard-to-electrify applications, an alternative zero emissions fuel). 

“We must take aggressive action to meet the climate crisis head on in Michigan,” said Derrell Slaughter, Michigan clean energy advocate at NRDC. “The policies outlined in the report are necessary to ensure a more prosperous and healthy state for all Michiganders.”   

For further background and analysis, read the blog from Samantha Williams, Midwest region director at NRDC, “Michigan must supercharge climate action." 

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About RMI
RMI is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization of experts across disciplines working to accelerate the clean energy transition and improve lives. Since our founding in 1982 by Amory Lovins, RMI’s chairman emeritus, we have grown to over 500 staff working on four continents with a global reach and reputation. 

About Michigan Environmental Council 
The Michigan Environmental Council—a 501(c)(3) charitable organization—is a coalition of over 80 organizations created in 1980 to lead Michigan’s environmental movement in achieving positive change through public policy solutions. 

About 5 Lakes Energy 
5 Lakes Energy engages with foundations, businesses, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies to advance client agendas in energy and sustainability policy. 

About NRDC 
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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