Gov. Whitmer Issues Most Ambitious Action on Climate in the Midwest, Advocates Call for Additional Community Centered Climate Solutions

LANSING, MI – Gov. Whitmer issued an executive order today that commits Michigan to the most ambitious path to combat the climate crisis in the Midwest to date. The order sets a goal of dramatically cutting carbon pollution and achieving carbon-neutrality across the entire state economy—including electric power production, transportation, buildings, industry, and agriculture— by 2050. 

With today’s announcement, Michigan now joins a short list of U.S. states that have committed to similar levels of carbon pollution reduction: California, New York, Hawaii, and Maine. Governor Whitmer’s action will hold Michigan’s largest utilities—DTE Energy and Consumers Energy—to their commitments to cut carbon emissions. 

The latest IPCC report made clear that, in order to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, states and countries will need to reduce economy-wide emissions to net-zero by mid-century, with near-term, ambitious action essential in the 2020s. Climate change is a threat multiplier. Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change continues to display a range of disproportionate impacts on Black, Indeginous, and people of color frontline communities, including health, economic, and racial injustice. Community and environmental justice organizations continue to call for equitable and inclusive State processes and solutions to address cumulative impacts of the fossil fuel industry. NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) supports those calls for action.

The following is a statement from Samantha Williams, climate and clean energy Midwest regional director for NRDC:

“People and communities are at the center of the solution to the climate crisis. As states continue to lead the charge in this fight, Gov. Whitmer has set a new bar in the Midwest and across the country to halt the rapid advance of climate impacts. 

“We now need to take today’s bold action, and go even further. We must ensure that the commitment to cutting carbon pollution out of Michigan’s economy is accompanied by an equitable and inclusive process that charts the path forward. Today’s executive action is a first, important step, and the priorities and expertise of communities in the frontlines now must be prioritized in order to make the Governor’s action successful and equitable.”      

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 NRDC (The Natural Resources Defense Council) 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, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC

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