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This week the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is holding the first of two online sessions to listen to people’s thoughts what to do about climate change. Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants Michigan to be carbon neutral by 2050. EGLE — with input from the Council on Climate Solutions — has to come up with a plan.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Updated March 25, 2021 at 5:29 p.m.

The University of Michigan is pledging to achieve "net zero" carbon status for its $12.5 billion endowment by 2050. The board of regents approved a plan Thursday that calls for shifting investments away from companies that produce fossil fuels and toward those generating renewable energy.

It pledges $140 million in new investments in wind and solar power and projects to limit carbon emissions. It would continue the current practice of not investing in the top 200 oil, gas and coal companies or those that extract tar sands oil.

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General Motors says it is setting a science-based target of carbon neutrality by 2040.

The automaker says the vast majority of its cars, SUVs and pickups will be zero emission vehicles by 2035, and its global manufacturing sites will rely 100% on renewable energy by that year as well. GM expects to have its U.S. manufacturing sites using only renewable energy even sooner, by 2030.

The automaker is following in the footsteps of VW and Ford, says Sam Abuelsamid, Principal Analyst for Guidehouse Insights, but going further than those companies' targets of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan has a draft plan to reach carbon neutrality. The President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality’s recommendations call for the university’s campuses to reduce emissions and to use carbon offsets to become carbon neutral by 2025 and reduce total U-M emissions to net-zero by 2040.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

A group wants the University of Michigan to think beyond its campuses as it works on a climate action plan.

Voices for Carbon Neutrality says climate change affects people of color and low-income people first.

Ember McCoy is a U of M student and one of the panelists on a webinar. She said those are the people who should also be part of the plan.

Photo courtesy of Carbon Green BioEnergy

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet members offered more details Friday on the goal of making Michigan a “carbon neutral” state within 30 years.

The plans include adding electric vehicle charging stations at state parks and recreation areas, and working with utilities to reduce emissions.

Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan.gov

Michigan is on the road to carbon neutrality by 2050, per an executive order Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed on Wednesday.

Whitmer made the announcement at a U.S. Climate Alliance virtual meeting. That’s a group of states led by governors who have committed to addressing climate change according to the framework laid out by the Paris Agreement, which President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from in 2017.

Ann Arbor at sunset.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The city of Ann Arbor plans to become carbon neutral over the next 10 years. Ann Arbor City Council voted unanimously early Tuesday morning to adopt guidelines for community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030.

The A2 Zero Carbon Neutrality plan would significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and offset the remaining emissions so that the community's overall carbon output is zero.

U-M student speaks at regents meeting
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

The Board of Regents of the University of Michigan announced at a meeting on Thursday that it will put a freeze on new fossil fuel investments. This means that it will not make new investments in the fossil fuel industry while it studies its own investment policy.

The announcement came from Regent Mark Bernstein, right after U-M Central Student Government President Ben Gerstein discussed a Big Ten resolution, where student governments from Big Ten universities called on their institutions to freeze fossil fuel investments.

NASA

Ann Arbor's City Council has declared a "climate emergency." That includes the aggressive goal of reaching carbon neutrality for all of Ann Arbor by 2030.

The declaration is in line with a consensus among climate scientists: that humans need to move much faster in reducing carbon emissions if they wish to avoid the worst effects of a rapidly warming globe.

MSU

The University of Michigan has established a commission on achieving carbon neutrality, to help fight climate change. 

But student activists say the process is already deeply flawed.  

Carbon neutrality means reducing carbon emissions as much as possible, and balancing what's left with actions like planting forests, which absorb carbon, or buying credits with renewable energy companies.