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ANN ARBOR, MI – The environment has been a Board priority since 2017, when the Commissioners voted to act on climate change in accordance with the Paris Accord. The Board of Commissioners established an Environmental Council in 2018 in response to the concerns of our community members. Washtenaw County is fortunate to have numerous climate and environmental experts serving on the Council, whose declared mission is to develop an environmental policy that recommends net-zero emissions for county operations by 2035, protecting and improving the County’s air, land, water, food network and mental/public health as related to the environment, as well as addressing environmental and inter-generational injustice that exists in our communities. Commissioner Sue Shink said, “Washtenaw County is taking strong action to reduce our contribution to climate change and to protect our residents. Our climate action plan will reduce our carbon emissions through efficiencies and renewable power, address environmental justice concerns and increase our community’s resiliency to weather related disasters.”
“Climate Change is a crisis and we must do more, faster, to tackle this problem”, said Jason Morgan, Chair of the Board of Commissioners. “I was proud to be part of setting our county’s first-ever goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions last year, and we are making progress, but we still aren’t moving fast enough. Dedicating these funds now and additional funds when we receive the emissions data will expedite our work to address climate change.”
Commissioner Andy LaBarre added, “The data we gain from this effort will be invaluable in our attempts to meet the ambitious goals of the Environmental Council and most importantly, the outcome of a more sustainable, more efficient, and cleaner Washtenaw County organization.”
The development of the Climate Action Plan will be a collaborative effort between the Environmental Council and the Office of the County Administrator with support from the Office of Infrastructure Management.
For the full press release click here.