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What is the MI Healthy Climate Plan?

In this article, we’ll review Michigan’s stance on climate change, the development and benefits of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, and how likely the MI Healthy Climate Plan is to succeed.
Ecology News
red lighthouse on harbour in Michigan

States like New York, California, and the New England region have all implemented concrete measures to actively reduce their emissions and overall environmental impact – and now, Michigan is joining the list with their MI Healthy Climate Plan.

However, given some of the more rigorous efforts on behalf of other states, such as Local Law 97 and the New York State Climate Action Council Scoping Plan – Michigan’s MI Healthy Climate Plan has some high standards to live up to.

In this article, we’ll review Michigan’s stance on climate change, the development and benefits of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, and how likely the MI Healthy Climate Plan is to succeed.

What is Michigan's current stance on climate change?

Michigan, home to Detroit, Henry Ford’s automobiles, and stunning beauty surrounded by the Great Lakes – this state is known for its calmer cities and escape from everyday life. 

👉 Some popular places to visit in Michigan include Anne Arbor, Detroit, and Mackinac Island. 

When it comes to climate change, Michigan has already fallen subject to the effects of a warming world – such as with the deterioration of the Great Lakes which directly impacts the state’s financial prosperity both in terms of tourism and fish sales. As a result, Michigan has dedicated itself to carbon neutrality and preserving its natural resources.

In fact, Michigan has been considered a climate haven in the midst of soaring temperatures and extreme weather events in other parts of the country – which could encourage Americans to relocate to states in the Great Lakes region such as Michigan in order to avoid the deleterious effects of climate change.
people on beach michigan climate haven

Many of the states in the midwest will be considered climate havens as temperatures skyrocket in southern states such as Florida, Texas, and Louisiana and winter snow storms worsen in the Northeast. 

As a result, it is probable to presume that many Americans will begin to move to states such as Michigan – especially in addition with developing plans such as the MI Healthy Climate Plan aimed to preserve the current condition of the region.

👉 This rise in expected climate migrants has encouraged Michigan to prepare accordingly, such as by reorganizing existing economic models and ensuring the state stays in good condition in regards to climate change.

view of detroit skyline at night

Why did Michigan develop the MI Healthy Climate Plan?

Michigan sought out to develop the MI Healthy Climate Plan in order to ensure current and future residents can feel good about the direction of the state’s stance on taking environmental action, but more importantly – to preserve the state’s natural resources which much of the country relies on, such as the surrounding Great Lakes.

The MI Healthy Climate Plan was created to make sure Michigan can remain a valuable state both economically and personally for those who live there.
MI Healthy Climate Plan

Seeing as Michigan is home to over 10 million people and is a state greatly affected by tourism, the MI Healthy Climate Plan was almost viewed as non-negotiable for the state. This is because if Michigan were to ignore the future impacts of climate change, the state would suffer from economic distress in addition to losing its identity – seeing as many associate the state with its natural beauty and resources.

👉 Did you know? Michigan received over 122 million visitors in 2017 alone – further solidifying the importance of the MI Healthy Climate Plan in order to ensure the state retains its economic advantages in terms of tourism.

In addition to this, Michigan has been affected after watching states like Texas and California lose power and experience deathly wildfires, respectively. Michigan believes that with the MI Healthy Climate Plan, the state can avoid being negatively impacted by climate change in the way many states already have.

woods in Michigan blue sky

What are the main goals of the MI Healthy Climate Plan?

The MI Healthy Climate Plan is specifically tailored to adhere to the daily living and tourism standards illustrated in Michigan, with the ultimate goal being to ensure that both day-to-day life and the financial revenue from tourists are not further impacted by climate change.

Unlike other federal efforts to increase climate-friendly jobs, the MI Healthy Climate Plan is developed in line with Michigan’s unique values and assets.

Here are just a few of the goals depicted in the MI Healthy Climate Plan:

  • Higher Standards for Power Plants – Coal-fired power plants have been a major culprit in excess emissions in the state of Michigan, seeing as the state emitted over 76 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2005 and dropped to 58 million metric tons in 2019 after closing various coal plants and upping the production of renewable energy. Therefore, the MI Healthy Climate Plan will aim to have stronger regulations for existing power plants to ensure they do not contribute to excess pollution.
  • Development of Climate Jobs – The state is determined to create high-paying jobs that can coincide with the future changes depicted in the MI Healthy Climate Plan. As a result, these jobs could include future positions to build new public transportation systems, implement renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind farms, and roles in recreational services aimed to protect the environment.
  • Decarbonize Public Transportation – As the U.S. is known for its massive road trips and dependency on gas-powered vehicles, Michigan is determined to make a change with the MI Healthy Climate Plan – which includes building the necessary infrastructure necessary in order to help put 2 million electric cars on the road in Michigan by 2030. In addition to this, the state is determined to create new public transit services to reduce car usage and overall greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Safeguarding the Health of Residents in Michigan – As air quality and water pollution continue to take a turn for the worse, the MI Healthy Climate Plan is seeking to prioritize the health of those who live in Michigan. This includes seeking to reduce emissions in the state’s transportation sector to achieve better air quality.
  • Strive Towards Energy Independence – Currently, Michigan spends billions of dollars each year to purchase fossil fuels to help power homes across the state. However, the MI Healthy Climate Plan is making an effort to change this by planning to produce more in-state renewable energy. As a result, residents in Michigan could benefit from up to $400 savings in annual utility bills.
  • Illustrate Michigan as a Climate Leader – Michigan not only wants to make a difference in its own state, but also to inspire other parts of the country to take the same action against climate change. After all, the battle against global warming is one that is made much easier when a collective effort is made. 
  • Protect Wildlife & Vital Resources – Seeing as the state is surrounded by the Great Lakes, Michigan is home to exceptional wildlife such as moose, wolves, white-tailed deer, ducks, geese, and numerous fish populations seeing as the Great Lakes serve as a breeding ground for many fish species. As a result, the state is determined to protect its diverse wildlife in addition to its vital resources – one of the most important being the Great Lakes themselves. 

👉 Ultimately, it is important to note that the MI Healthy Climate Plan is more proactive than reactive – as it is determined to incorporate positive action today to cultivate a better future for residents of Michigan tomorrow.

The MI Healthy Climate Plan is not solely based on reducing greenhouse gas emissions or reducing the current effects of climate change, but it is a plan determined to develop greater climate resiliency to ensure Michigan can be more equipped to handle climate crises in the future.
view of tree in michigan

What are some challenges presented with the MI Healthy Climate Plan?

The most admirable thing about the MI Healthy Climate Plan is that it is ambitious. 

The main 7 objectives for the include:

  1. Avoiding the worst possible effects of climate change
  2. Stimulating economic development through the creation of well-paying jobs
  3. Protecting the health of residents in Michigan
  4. Demonstrating Michigan as a climate leader
  5. Conserving natural resources and wildlife
  6. Ensuring Michigan becomes energy independent
  7. Addressing all environmental injustices

However, that being said – the MI Healthy Climate Plan will also require a lot of money to get its feet off the ground.

Luckily, Michigan has already secured millions of dollars in grants to help put the MI Healthy Climate Plan in motion.

After seeking advice from the EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program (or CPRG) on how to best incorporate the MI Healthy Climate Plan, the CPRG provided the state with a $3 million grant. In addition to this funding from the CPRG, Michigan also received $1 million each on behalf of the Grand Rapids-Kentwood and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn counties for being some of the most densely populated metro areas in the country. 

👉 Despite having received millions of dollars to be used towards the MI Healthy Climate Plan already, the state will continue to seek other sources of funding to ensure the MHCP can be as successful as possible.

autumn forest on coast of Michigan

How likely is the MI Healthy Climate Plan to be successful?

There is no doubt that Michigan has crafted a unique climate action plan to help sustain the vitality and thriving nature of their state.

Therefore, as long as funding is secured, there is probable reason to believe that the MI Healthy Climate Plan will be successful.

One of the key indicators that the MI Healthy Climate Plan will be successful is that Michigan has already implemented other efforts that will help to work towards the goals depicted in the MI Healthy Climate Plan. For example, the state has prioritized protecting coastal wetlands and shorelines with the Eerie Marsh Project to help improve water quality.

In addition to these efforts, Michigan has released their own Climate Corps Program – which will provide $1.3 million in funds to help train residents of the state to work jobs that can help to support cleaner air, drinkable water, and protect Michigan’s natural resources such as the Great Lakes. All of these goals are congruent with the objectives described in the MI Healthy Climate Plan.

Ultimately, the MI Healthy Climate Plan has a good chance at reducing emissions and building greater climate resilience – with the opportunity for the state to slash as much as 94% of their emissions. As long as funding expands parallel to support from residents and enterprises in the state, Michigan could very well be on their way to becoming the climate leader they hope to become. 

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about the MI Healthy Climate Plan and how it impacts the environment has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Keeping track of all the new climate initiatives that could have an impact on your business can be challenging, but don’t worry  – Greenly is here to help. Click here to schedule a demo to see how Greenly can help you comply with all of the upcoming regulations relevant to your company. 

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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