LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Michigan is putting $12 million towards helping local groups in the fight against climate change and to advance environmental justice. The aim is to support community organizations across the state so they can get federal funding to tackle climate issues and make Michigan more “resilient.”

Lt. Governor announces grants at state’s climate conference.

At the second annual MI Healthy Climate Conference on Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II unveiled two new programs to help community groups, tribal governments, and local governments access funding for environmental and climate projects.

MORE NEWS: Absentee Ballot Signature Verification Rules Issued by SOS Benson Ruled Unconstitutional

These programs, the Climate Justice Challenge and MI Healthy Climate Justice40 Technical Assistance Program, were developed by various state offices including the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) Office of the Environmental Justice Public Advocate and Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) in coordination with the Michigan Infrastructure Office (MIO).

State grants offered to help secure federal grants.

Gilchrist emphasized the vital role of local organizations in fighting climate change and announced the state’s commitment to assist them. The new programs aim to connect organizations with technical support, expertise, and grant funds to secure federal backing from the Biden-Harris Administration.

The Climate Justice Challenge is offering up to $11 million in grants and technical assistance. It aims to help community-based organizations apply for federal grants from the EPA’s Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants. These grants can range from $10 million to $20 million but require navigating complex application processes, which the Challenge aims to simplify. Additionally, an extra $1 million is allocated to assist successful grant recipients with federal grant management.

Assisting with climate change initiatives in disadvantaged communities to promote environmental justice.

The MI Healthy Climate Justice40 Technical Assistance Program is a year-long initiative supporting community-based organizations in implementing the MI Healthy Climate Plan. It provides resources and training to help these organizations serve disadvantaged communities and apply for climate- related funding.

The Make it in Michigan Competitiveness Fund is another initiative supporting projects that promote environmental justice and climate action statewide. It leverages state resources to unlock federal investments, aiming to boost Michigan’s economy, create jobs, and improve infrastructure while addressing climate issues.

These initiatives all reflect the Michigan Democrats’ dedication to addressing climate change, as well as their commitment to equity and sustainability. They also align with their stated goals of empowering communities, particularly those with historical inequities, and improve the quality of life for Michiganders.