EcoWorks is launching the #NetZeroBy2030 challenge for Detroit and Southeast Michigan to become carbon-free - zero net emissions from all sectors - in less than 11 years. Climate change impacts are accelerating but there is still time to make a rapid transition away from carbon and get us back on track. With bold and immediate action, we can sustain a healthy planet that supports life flourishing in both human and ecological communities.
#NetZeroBy2030 is an aspirational but achievable goal to transform our region into one of the first in the U.S. to become carbon-free. Getting to net zero will involve dramatic shifts in the efficiency of our buildings and transportation; it will mean ending our consumption of fossil fuels and replacing them with clean, renewable energy. We have all the technology we need to achieve net zero today; it is a question of whether we will have the courage to step up and lead.
The path to #NetZeroBy2030 needs to ensure a just transition for communities that bear the brunt of climate impacts. It needs to uphold the principles of climate justice and environmental justice, giving impacted communities a strong voice in decision-making and democratizing ownership of our energy resources. It needs to ensure everyone has clean water and clean air; that energy and water are affordable regardless of income; and that the benefits of becoming carbon free--from job creation to community resilience and ownership of renewable energy projects--are directed to communities of color, lower-incomes, and those that have been most impacted by climate change and pollution.
If done right, getting to #NetZeroBy2030 will lower energy bills, create thousands of well-paying green jobs, improve public transportation, protect our air and water quality, and contribute to a healthier, more vibrant region.
We have 11 years to get it done. This means today’s first graders will be graduating high school, and some of our elected officials may actually still be in office. We can and must do this.