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Net Zero 101: What It Is and Why It Matters

Net zero refers to eliminating carbon emissions from the atmosphere by either capturing and storing carbon safely in places like trees or underground rock formations or avoiding emissions altogether.

Reaching net zero emissions is an ambitious goal that energy providers, government bodies, and private businesses are all setting in order to help secure a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for everyone.

How to Reach Net Zero

Getting down to net zero will require multiple approaches—and it will look a little different for every sector or industry—but it all boils down to a combination of using cleaner forms of energy, leveraging new technologies, and improving energy efficiency wherever and whenever possible.

Ultimately, we will need all the pieces of net zero puzzle in order to eliminate carbon emissions. That includes:

Michigan Makes Strides to Secure a Net Zero Future

So far, both of Michigan’s local energy providers—Consumers Energy and DTE Energy—have laid out their plans for reaching net zero emissions in their electricity production by 2040 and 2050, respectively. Just last summer, DTE Energy also committed to reaching net zero emissions in their natural gas service by 2050.

Additionally, Governor Whitmer made net zero a policy goal for in September of last year, signing two executive orders that call for Michigan’s state buildings and infrastructure to be net zero by 2050, mirroring the private-sector commitments made by local energy providers.

Between these efforts—as well as the ones being made by other local Michigan businesses and industries—we are on the right track to reach net zero emissions in the next 30 years. These are exactly the kinds of public and private commitments it will take to get to net zero and secure a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for all Michiganders.

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