In September of last year, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer created the Council on Climate Solutions as an advisory body in the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
Established by Executive Order 2020-182, the Council on Climate Solutions is designed to develop and oversee the implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, an action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition toward carbon neutrality across all state economies.
The Council on Climate Solutions is tasked with a variety of actions, including recommending opportunities for emissions-reductions strategies across state industries and identifying solutions for communities throughout the state that are disproportionately impacted by the changing climate.
In February of this year, Gov. Whitmer appointed 14 residents from across Michigan to serve on the Council. They represent a variety of industries and sectors and bring experience and expertise in a variety of climate and environmental areas. In addition, the Council will include directors or team members from other state departments including EGLE, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health & Human Services and the Department of Natural Resources.
One of the Council’s earliest actions was the establishment of five advisory workgroups with specific areas of focus. One of these is the Transportation and Mobility Workgroup, which is chaired by Charles Griffith and Judson Herzer.
“Since the transportation sector became the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., Michigan has been concentrating on more environmentally conscious and multi-modal mobility,” said Judd Herzer, Policy Director for the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification. “I am excited about the Council on Climate Solutions and the role it will play in facilitating electrification of the transportation sector, and the future of mobility and Michigan’s strong automotive manufacturing roots.”
In addition to the Council on Climate Solutions, Gov. Whitmer has taken several additional steps to work to combat climate change. On September 23, she announced a goal of having economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050 and in 2019, Michigan joined the United States Climate Alliance, committing to “pursue at least a 26-28% reduction below 2005 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and to accelerate new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy deployment at the state and federal level.”
For more information on The Council on Climate Solutions, visit the Council website. The Council meets the fourth Tuesday of every month, and meetings are open to the public for participation via online/phone. Visit Michigan.gov/Climate for details on joining the meeting. Minutes and recordings from previous meetings are also available at the Council website.