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Published in Energy

Michigan businesses join call for state climate action plan with 2050 carbon-neutral target

BY Monday, April 18, 2022 04:09pm

Major automakers, craft breweries and an outdoor recreation resort are among Michigan companies calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to finalize a statewide climate action plan that includes a carbon neutral target by 2050.

Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Crystal Mountain Resort, Brewery Vivant, and Broad Leaf Brewery and Spirits are among 15 businesses that signed a letter to Whitmer as her administration prepares to release a final draft of the MI Healthy Climate Plan. Whitmer directed the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to develop, issue and oversee the plan following a 2020 executive order. 

The plan’s first draft was published in January and detailed clean energy goals across business sectors, housing and transportation.

Company executives say transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy would safeguard the state from climate threats and also reap economic benefits. 

“Climate change poses a significant risk to our businesses, threatens the competitiveness and livelihoods of our supply chains, and impacts the communities in which we operate,” according to the letter. 

Business executives added that supportive state policies are needed to help them achieve their own emission-reduction targets. 

For example, GM has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040 and to be powered by 100-percent renewable energy in the U.S. by 2025 and globally by 2035. GM also will introduce 30 new electric vehicle models by 2025 and invest billions of dollars in the coming years in new Michigan-based electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facilities.

Grand Rapids sister breweries Brewery Vivant and Broad Leaf Brewery and Spirits aim to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent over the next decade. In 2012, Brewery Vivant was the first production brewery in the U.S. to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification. 

Thompsonville-based ski and golf resort Crystal Mountain has invested in several clean energy measures, including free electric vehicle charging, a LEED-certified spa heat pump and other energy efficiency upgrades. 

“Michigan is already feeling the accelerated impact of a changing climate,” Crystal Mountain Board Chairman Jim MacInnes said in a statement. “The good news is the technologies we need to build a low-carbon energy future are currently available — electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations, grid scale batteries, and wind and solar power. Expanding our power grid is also necessary to accelerate the deployment of these clean energy resources. By working together to advocate and take action now, we can protect this beautiful part of the country and ensure Michigan continues to be an attractive destination for future generations.”

Other major businesses that signed on to the letter include Ben & Jerry’s, DSM, EILEEN FISHER, General Mills, IKEA, JLL, Johnson Controls, Siemens, Uplight and Worthen Industries.

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