Major Businesses in Michigan Laud Climate Action to Support Transition to Carbon-Neutral Economy

Major Businesses in Michigan Laud Climate Action to Support Transition to Carbon-Neutral Economy

Businesses including Crystal Mountain, EILEEN FISHER, Ford, General Mills, General Motors, IKEA, and Siemens say MI Healthy Climate Plan strategies to build a carbon-neutral economy will strengthen Michigan’s vitality, competitiveness, and economic growth
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Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 10:00am

CAMPAIGN: Policy

CONTENT: Press Release

LANSING, Mich., April 19, 2022 /3BL Media/ - Major businesses with operations and employees across Michigan want to see the state scale up strategies to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. They say that doing so would help safeguard the state from climate threats and reap the economic opportunities of the clean energy transition.

In a letter sent today to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, 15 business signatories—which include Crystal Mountain, EILEEN FISHER, Ford, General Mills, General Motors, IKEA, and Siemens among others—emphasized the importance of making climate action a priority for Michigan. These companies have all made significant commitments to reducing climate pollution throughout their operations and supply chains, and they recognize that supportive state policies are needed to help them achieve these targets.

“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. Because of these risks to our businesses, consumers, and employees, we view climate action as a top priority for Michigan and we offer our support for statewide strategies that will achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050,” the businesses wrote.

This corporate message comes as the Whitmer administration prepares to release the final MI Healthy Climate Plan, which will lay out recommended strategies to put Michigan on a path to achieve its aim of economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. A draft of the plan was published in January, to support Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Directive 2020-10 that established the state’s goal of carbon neutrality.

“Michigan is already feeling the accelerated impact of a changing climate,” said professional engineer Jim MacInnes, board chairman of Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, MI. “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.”

“General Motors applauds the ambition in the Draft MI Healthy Climate Plan. We commend the leadership and efforts to encourage decarbonization in Michigan,” said Matthew Rudnick, director—climate, environment & energy policy, at General Motors. “The state’s ambitious goals can only be achieved through the concerted efforts of all stakeholders and with a continued focus on supportive policies.”

“At EILEEN FISHER, we believe that the climate crisis demands urgent action and systemic change,” said Shona Quinn, director of social consciousness at EILEEN FISHER, a sustainable design company with a retail store located in Troy. “Both government leaders and businesses of all sizes have a role to play in tackling the climate crisis. We welcome Gov. Whitmer’s climate plan which will help businesses and communities reap the benefits of Michigan’s transition to a clean energy future.”

“At Siemens, we know that addressing the climate crisis requires both the public and private sectors. That is why Siemens has committed globally to net-zero emissions in our operations by 2030,” said Judy Martinez-Faye, head of external affairs at Siemens USA. “Achieving carbon neutrality will help Michigan build a future where businesses and communities can thrive — with cleaner air, well-paying jobs, and a competitive economy.”

“The transition to a carbon neutral economy presents an exciting opportunity for Michigan,” said Deana Dennis, senior manager of state policy at Ceres, a nonprofit organization that organized the letter. “Many of Michigan’s largest companies see the economic benefits of acting now to achieve the long-term goal of carbon neutrality, and they want to see the state follow suit with ambitious statewide climate strategies. We applaud Gov. Whitmer for her leadership on climate action and look forward to working with Michigan policymakers and businesses to make her administration's vision a reality.”

The letter closed with a strong signal to state leaders that businesses in Michigan support the plan and welcome further action to achieve this ambitious goal.

“The MI Healthy Climate Plan offers an important step towards achieving our longer-term goal of carbon neutrality. Moving toward a carbon-neutral economy will enhance the vitality, competitiveness, and growth of our state, sending a clear signal that Michigan is open for business,” they letter said.

About Ceres
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

Media Contact: Helen Booth-Tobin, booth-tobin@ceres.org, 617-247-0700 ext. 214

CATEGORY: Environment