LANSING – Business groups and clean energy advocates praised Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for addressing climate change by calling for Michigan to become carbon neutral by 2050 through an executive order issued today.

“In 2019, there were more than 125,000 clean energy jobs in Michigan, but since the beginning of the pandemic the industry has lost more than 23,000 jobs. This executive order on climate will help the clean energy industry recover from the pandemic and encourage more businesses to come to our state, which will create even more jobs,” said Dr. Laura Sherman, president of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. “This executive order, along with other actions taken by Gov. Whitmer, will continue to increase demand for innovative, business-driven solutions to reduce the impact of climate change.”

Michigan would join just four other states – California, New York, Hawaii and Maine – with carbon neutrality goals. 

The governor outlined intermediary steps that will be taken to address climate change, including directing all state buildings to cut energy use by 40% by 2040.

“Gov. Whitmer heard calls from across the state to take action on the climate and clean energy and we applaud her for making addressing climate change a top priority,” said John Delurey, Midwest director of Vote Solar. “By setting bold goals to achieve carbon reductions, Gov. Whitmer is unleashing the power of clean energy to reduce pollution and create jobs. We look forward to working with Gov. Whitmer and her administration to ensure that those carbon reductions create a just and equitable clean energy future."

Michigan farmers are witnessing the harmful effects of climate change every day.

“The private sector is driving innovation and meeting customer demand for increased sustainability every day,” said Jim Byrum, managing partner of Rural and Agricultural Policy Advisers. “The governor’s climate order is a commonsense plan and one that will ultimately strengthen Michigan’s agricultural sector.”

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