Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order Makes Michigan National Climate Leader

September 23, 2020 | |

Kate Madigan
Kate Madigan is Director of the
Michigan Climate Action Network

With the stroke of her pen, Governor Whitmer’s climate executive order today makes Michigan a national leader on climate change, and marks a turning point in our state, igniting the tremendous economic and equity opportunities of a clean energy transformation.

We applaud the governor for listening to science and the will of the people, prioritizing environmental justice and job creation, and putting Michigan on a path to be carbon neutral before 2050. We stand ready to support our governor in finding rapid and equitable solutions to this most urgent challenge.

When we started the climate network five years ago, few leaders in our state were even talking about climate change and the rapid and equitable transition off fossil fuels needed to avoid worsening impacts. This silence and inaction were the results of the well-funded campaigns by the fossil fuel industry to create doubt and pressure elected officials to deny the climate crisis. Sadly, those campaigns delayed action for far too long.

The action by Governor Whitmer today shows that things have changed. We now have courageous leaders who listen to the overwhelming science and the will of the people and are doing something about the climate impacts we are seeing with our own eyes.

Because of decades of inaction, we now must act with urgency. Scientists tell us that we must reduce climate pollution by at least 40% this decade to maintain a stable climate. To achieve this we need more of Michigan’s elected officials to step up and support policies that accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, increase solar and wind development, stop the building of new fossil fuel infrastructure like the Line 5 oil tunnel, and invest in communities and workers most impacted by pollution and the transition to clean energy.

Fortunately, investing in equitable climate solutions will bring enormous benefits. It will reduce pollution, saving lives, and creating healthier communities for our families, and create thousands of good-paying jobs.”

The Michigan Climate Action Network is a statewide network of over 50 groups and 25,000 individuals working for equitable and urgent solutions to the climate crisis.

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