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Group wants UM to include voices most affected by climate change in climate action plan

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.

“Include prioritizing pathways that not just move towards 100% renewable energy or carbon neutrality, but one that prioritizes doing so in a way that can help others do so,” she said.

The group says what the university does about climate change doesn’t just affect its three campuses, but affects all the people in the surrounding communities so they should have a voice too.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist joined the group in a webinar.

“I would hope that the university would use its influence and it example to show what the future can be for a large enterprise,” he said.

Gilchrist –an alum of U of M - said there’s an opportunity to create more justice for people of color.

“We have an opportunity to really show some leadership,” he added.

The University of Michigan’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality is made up of university professors and staff, two students, representatives of DTE and Consumers Energy, one person from an environmental group, and an official from the City of Ann Arbor.

Editor's note: The University of Michigan holds Michigan Radio's license.

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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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