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Seeking climate insights

Online public listening session scheduled for Wednesday

LANSING — The Office of Climate and Energy is asking members of the public for their insights about climate and how Michigan can move toward carbon neutrality by 2050.

An online public listening sessions is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy through its Office of Climate and Energy is charged with formulating and overseeing implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, a roadmap to reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide, with input from the Council on Climate Solutions.

Links to join the session are posted to the Michigan.gov/Climate webpage at https://bit.ly/3agnDPY.

Those who wish to speak should send an email to EGLE-ClimateSolutions@Michigan.gov with “Public Comment Request,” the date of the session at which they want to speak and their name in the subject line. Those who send an email request will be allowed to speak first.

Members of the public who do not submit their names ahead of time will still be allowed to make a comment.

Each speaker will be limited to three minutes.

The session is designed to gather comments and input from the public; organizers will not answer questions posed by attendees.

Individuals needing language assistance or accommodations for effective participation at the listening sessions should contact Kimber Frantz at FrantzK@Michigan.gov or 517-284-5035 at least seven days before the event to request language, mobility, visual, hearing, translation and/or other assistance.

The listening session will begin with an overview of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-182, which established the Council on Climate Solutions, an explanation of how it is structured, and its role in advising EGLE and OCE on the development of the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The council’s input will be informed by the public comments at the listening sessions and guidance from five workgroups: Energy Production, Transmission, Distribution and Storage; Buildings and Housing; Transportation and Mobility; Natural Working Lands and Forest Products; and Energy Intensive Industries.

The scheduled public listening session will be recorded and posted in a timely manner to Michigan.gov/Climate.

Those who cannot attend the listening session can offer their topical comments at any time by sending an email to EGLE-ClimateSolutions@Michigan.gov.

The council is composed of 14 state residents as well as representatives from nine state departments and agencies. EGLE Director Liesl Clark is the chair of the council, which is scheduled to meet publicly the fourth Tuesday of each month through the end of the year.

The MI Healthy Climate Plan is an effort to combat the impacts of climate change in Michigan, as “climate change is having a detrimental impact on the state’s environment and economy and threatens the health and well-being of residents, with communities of color and low-income Michiganders bearing a disproportionate impact of climate disruptions,” officials said.

Whitmer has also signed Executive Directive 2019-12, in which Michigan joined the United States Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors from 25 states devoted to pursuing the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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