Climate Change


While the City of Grand Rapids has been a leader in environmental sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion, we are and have been feeling the impacts of climate change in Grand Rapids. To avoid the worst impacts, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and plan for known changes and increased extreme weather. The climate change crisis is one of the City's top priorities. Check out our Strategic Plan and the City Commission's Resolution Declaring Climate Change a Crisis(PDF, 3MB).

Creating a zero-carbon, climate resilient city requires hard work, collaboration and commitments from local government as well as individuals, businesses and institutions here in our community as well as across the globe. Learn more about climate change, what the City is doing and what you can do by exploring the links below and signing up for the Office of Sustainability's monthly newsletter.

Climate change is long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

Climate vs. Weather  

Weather is short-term changes in the atmosphere – which can be that it’s raining out, or that we haven’t gotten much snow this winter.

Climate is a long-term average of weather over at least 20 to 30 years. So, while one year may have been really cold, when you look at the average change over 20-30 years, our winters are getting warmer.

One way to think about this is weather can be like the money in your pocket on any one day, but climate is your overall wealth over your lifetime - which would include your house or any other investments, any retirement savings, and any money you have in your savings accounts.  Some years may have had a tighter budget than others, but your net worth shows all the ups and downs and identifies trends over time. 

Weather vs Climate


The Climate is Changing 

In this graph each of the small white dots represents the average temperature (weather) that year, the black line shows the earth’s climate over time. 

Often, you’ll hear “well it’s really cold out, so global warming is not really happening".

Using what we learned on the difference between weather and climate, we can clearly see some years are hotter and colder weather, but when looking across the timeline at climate we can see that overall, the planet is warming. For up to date tracking on global temperatures, see NASA's Global Climate Change Global Temperature page. 

global temperature

Global Warming

Our planet has a natural blanket of heat trapping gases. The sun’s energy (through solar radiation) shines down and heats the earth. Some of that heat energy bounces off or is reflected by clouds in the atmosphere, the rest warms up the earth and gives off heat energy. The natural blanket traps about half of that energy keeping the earth a temperature we can live in. Once the Earth’s surface is warm, it gives off excess energy to space as invisible infrared radiation. Essentially, this is the process that keeps our Earth’s energy in balance. If we didn’t have this blanket, there wouldn’t be life on earth – we would be a frozen planet of ice. 

By digging up massive amounts of oil, coal, and gas (commonly called fossil fuels) the Earth is reabsorbing these heat-trapping gases wrapping an extra blanket around the planet that it doesn’t need. That extra blanket is trapping too much extra invisible infrared radiation (or heat), and that’s why the earth is warming.  

Global Warming

Greenhouse Gases

The main greenhouse (heat-trapping) gases caused by human activity are: 

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) 
  • Methane (CH4) 
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O) 
  • Fluorinated Gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride) 
Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is often the greatest focus of greenhouse gases because it is has contributed more than any other greenhouse gas and it stays in our atmosphere the longest. Although methane (CH4) may be 25 times more potent it is mostly removed from the atmosphere in 12 years, whereas carbon dioxide sticks around longer, anywhere from 300 to 1,000 years. That is why you see solutions focusing on carbon dioxide, and the term greenhouse gases and carbon used interchangeably. 

Human Caused Emissions

In the past, the climate has changed from natural causes: changes in energy from the sun, massive, sustained volcanic eruptions, and predictable cycles in the Earth’s orbit that drive the ice ages and the warm periods in between have all caused the Earth to be warmer and cooler in the past. 

However, since the beginning of the Industrial Era (1850), human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, have raised atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide by nearly 49%. The increase in global carbon dioxide levels from 1950 to 2022 (current) is more than what had happened naturally over a 20,000 year period. For up to date tracking on carbon dioxide levels, see NASA's Global Climate Change Carbon Dioxide page. 

NASA CO2 Levels

Source of Emissions

Looking at both the total greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector for the United States and Michigan there is a consistent trend that our emissions are coming from the fueling of our electricity, transportation, buildings, and industry.  

US GHG 2020

Mitigation vs. Adaptation

In climate change work there are two types of solutions: Climate Mitigation and Climate Adaptation. 

Mitigation is reducing or preventing greenhouse gases by decreasing how much energy is consumed (or energy efficiency), ensuring energy is produced from renewable sources (such as wind, solar, etc.), and finding ways to capture and store greenhouse gases (known as sequestration). 

Adaptation is taking actions that reduce or prevent the harm caused by climate change and can include planning for impacts that are predicted to occur, putting processes in place to respond when anticipated changes occur, and being creative with new solutions (like businesses or energy systems) to adapt to our new normal.  

Mitigation vs Adaptation

While mitigation is essential to addressing climate change, adaptation is also a high priority when looking to not only maintain but enhance quality of life. For even if all human emissions of heat-trapping gases were to stop today, Earth’s temperature would continue to rise for a few decades as ocean currents bring excess heat stored in the deep ocean back to the surface. But the vast majority of future impacts can be avoided by choosing our future.

Grand Rapids Climate Changes & Projections

Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) in partnership with the City created a summary of historic as well as projected changes in climate specific to Grand Rapids. This information is valuable in helping us understand what changes we have already experienced as well as what changes we anticipate. The main takeaways are:

Increasing Temperature

  • Average air temperature is projected to rise 3°F to 5°F by the mid-21st century, with summer having the greatest increases of 4°F to 7°F.  
  • Historically Grand Rapids had on average 7.9 days per year over 90°F; by mid-century this is projected to rise from 20-38 days per year over 90°F.

Increasing Precipitation

  • Total annual precipitation has increased by 16%.  
  •  Average annual precipitation in Grand Rapids is projected to increase by up to 3 inches by mid-century and by up to 7 inches by the end of the century, though types of precipitation will vary (i.e., more winter precipitation in the form of rain).

Increase in Extreme Weather Events

  • The total volume of rainfall in extreme events (heaviest 1% of storms) has increased by 52%.
  • Grand Rapids is projected to experience an increase of up to 1.7 days of heavy precipitation (days with over 1” of rainfall) per year by mid-century and by up to 3 days per year by end of century. 

Essentially, Grand Rapids will see more days over 90°F in the summer and warmer days in the winter. Grand Rapids will also experience more rain and extreme weather events in shorter bursts that could cause an increase in flooding and droughts. 

For a look at the full report, click here

Health Impacts

One of the most important impacts of climate change is the impact on our human health. The following are potential health impacts expected for those who reside in Michigan according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Climate Change Health Impacts
  • Allergies - Climate projections predict an earlier and longer season for plants with pollen, which could increase allergies.
  • Heat Related Health Issues - Health effects such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat dizziness, and heat stroke can happen during high temperatures when the body is not able to cool itself by sweating. Heat waves can also worsen chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes-related conditions.
  • Waterborne Diseases - Increases in waterborne disease outbreaks have been reported following a heavy rainfall. Buildings that experience water intrusion can develop mold contamination, which can lead to indoor air quality problems.
  • Vector-Borne Diseases - With the incoming of warmer winters, earlier springs, and warmer summers, climate change creates ideal conditions for vector-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease to flourish from an increase in mosquitos and ticks.
  • Mental Health - Climate change and related disasters cause elevated levels of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorders. The trauma and losses from a disaster, such as losing a home or job and being disconnected from neighborhood and community, can contribute to depression and anxiety. Extreme weather events have also been associated with increases in aggressive behavior and domestic violence. 

Economic Disruption

Another reason to plan for climate change is to prepare for the economic impact of ever increasing billion-dollar disaster events. While taking a look at this graph note that this is only for the state of Michigan, with the most common disaster events including severe storms, floods and drought. As you can see from the 1980s to the early 2000s, numbers were fairly low, but there is a steady rise in the amount of billion dollar disaster events from 2011 to 2021, and for 2021 there is a combined disaster cost of 1 to 2 billion dollars. 

Michigan Billion Dollar Disaster Events

Threat Multiplier

Climate change is also known as a threat multiplier or an accelerant of instability, which means that it has the potential to exacerbate other social forces such as water, food, and energy insecurity, as well as racial and low-income disparities.

Those most impacted by climate change are those who contributed least to the issue due to increased exposure to climate hazards, higher sensitivity, and a lower adaptive capacity.  This includes women and low-income populations globally, Indigenous peoples, and Black and Brown neighborhoods in the U.S. that may reside in flood zones, without green space, and potentially near toxic industry sites due to the racist practice of redlining.

Due to redlining, not all Grand Rapids neighborhoods will experience the impacts of climate change equally. Communities that were redlined remain those with a larger percentage of people of color and low-income residents. They are also the same neighborhoods that have fewer trees and green spaces, making them more vulnerable to heat and flooding. 

In 2021, the EPA released a report that showed that in the U.S. the most severe harms from climate change fall disproportionately upon underserved communities who are least able to prepare for, and recover from, heat waves, poor air quality, flooding, and other impacts.  EPA’s analysis indicated that communities of color are particularly vulnerable to the greatest impacts of climate change. For local knowledge on how environmental action intersects with race read LINC UP's Neighborhood Environmental Action Report: Health, Environment and Race in Grand Rapids

Ecosystem Impacts

Some additional effects we’ll see in West Michigan are an increase in lake levels. Research indicates climate change will drive water levels higher with Lake Superior expected to rise on an average by 7.5 inches, while levels on the Lake Michigan-Huron system is projected to increase 17 inches by mid century.

More lake effect snow for the time being will also be an ecosystem impact. In a warmer atmosphere, water evaporates faster, so when a storm comes around there is more water vapor waiting to be swept into the storm, creating more intense storm events. For the Great Lakes this is creating more lake-effect snow – since warm lake water is evaporating into the atmosphere, but temperatures are remaining below freezing. So West Michigan sees more snow, and that is going to continue. This could impact the quality of our roads, the number of power outages and our community’s ability to accommodate trucking industry.

Another effect of a warmer atmosphere and then warming lakes is an increase in harmful algal blooms. As the temperature rises in lakes potentially toxic algae numbers will increase creating nutrient pollution and killing fish species. An increase in algal blooms is not only harmful to human and ecosystem health, but also to fishing tourism and traditional Anishinaabe cultural practices, such as water walks.  

Climate Migration

Climate migration is the movement of people due to climate or the effects of climate change. The Midwest has been called a potential climate haven – where people will potentially move to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Grand Rapids is primed to be a “climate haven” or safe place for people to move to with a diverse job market, population growth, good schools, cultural offerings, comparatively moderate climate, and access to water. Unfortunately, climate migration will exacerbate already existing inequities within our community – our focus for now is to address those inequities, and to increase quality of life and resilience of our community in the hopes that we will better be able to prepare for what’s to come.  

The climate justice movement addresses the ethical dimensions of climate change - shifting from talk about greenhouse gases, melting ice caps and polar bears into a civil rights movement with the people and communities most vulnerable to climate impacts at its heart.  

Climate justice seeks to integrate justice into climate solutions. Some of these solutions include just transition, energy democracy, transportation equity, food sovereignty, and efficient, affordable housing. 

Just Transition

Just transition is a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. This means approaching production and consumption cycles holistically and waste-free. The transition itself must be just and equitable; redressing past harms and creating new relationships of power for the future through reparations.


Energy Democracy

Energy democracy pairs the renewable energy transition with efforts to democratize the production and management of energy. Energy democracy represents a shift from the corporate, centralized fossil fuel economy to one that is governed by communities, is designed on the principle of no harm to the environment, supports local economies, and contributes to the health and well-being for all peoples. 

Transportation Equity

Transportation is the number one source of carbon emissions in the U.S. In order to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, a lot of focus is being placed on the solution of transitioning to electric vehicles but does not address equitable access to these vehicles. Transportation equity focuses on solutions that include both equitable access to new technologies for low-income and communities of color, while moving away from reliance on automotive vehicles and encouraging public transportation and forms of active mobility such as walking or biking.

Food Sovereignty 

“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.” – Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007

Through deforestation, farming, transportation, processing and packaging, refrigeration and retail, and waste, the industrial model of agribusiness – guided by generation of profits, exploitation of labor, commodification of the earth, and manipulation of natural systems – is a major contributor to the climate crisis. Between 44% and 57% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the global food system. Food sovereignty solutions focus on investing in localized food, farming and distribution systems in urban and rural communities.

Efficient, Affordable Housing

Energy cost burden more often falls on low-income households due to substandard housing. Climate change will likely deepen this problem due to ongoing and projected increases in average and extreme temperatures, which will expose those that cannot afford to maintain comfortable temperatures inside their homes to extreme heat. This exposure may lead to severe health consequences, including heat exhaustion and death from heatstroke. Increasing access to energy efficient, affordable housing is a key climate justice solution. 

Additional Resources

Climate Mitigation

Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Emissions Reduction

Our Citywide Strategic Plan commits the City to create and support programs and policies to reduce carbon emissions from the building and transportation sectors throughout the community. 

The City completed a community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory in partnership with ICLEI. The greenhouse gas emissions inventory identifies our current impact on the climate, what sectors in our community are emitting greenhouse gas emissions, and helped us set a science-based target for reducing our emissions and to track our progress. 

Read the GHG Emissions Inventory(PDF, 28MB)


The plan’s Mobility section also includes strategies to decrease the number of people who drive alone in their vehicle by increasing bus ridership, biking, walking and carsharing – which all decrease fuel consumption and the resulting carbon emissions. Check out more about our City’s mobility work here.

Building Sector Emissions

Over 50% of the buildings (by square footage) in Grand Rapids are single family homes. In the Zero Cities Project we partnered with the Urban Core Collective to understand residents needs from energy services. In the Zero Cities Project we also partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan to educate and engage commercial building stakeholders through the GR2030 District

In our next phase, E.H.Zero, we aim to partner with community to determine how we can work together to reduce the carbon footprint of homes and businesses throughout the community. The City is working to identify policies and programs that can reduce the energy and carbon footprint of buildings. Click the buttons below to learn more about each project. 

Zero Cities Project


Climate Adaptation

Climate Vulnerability Assessment 

In 2023, The City began the process of completing a community-wide climate vulnerability assessment in partnership with ICLEI. The climate vulnerability assessment will help determine how and to what degree our community is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It will include:  

  • Baseline and projected climate conditions. 
  • Identification of vulnerable populations.
  • Identification of critical systems and assets including transportation, utilities, water, buildings, environmental resources, natural habitat, recreational spaces, public health, economy, cultural resources, social/human services.  
  • Determining level of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of people, systems and assets due to potential climate change impacts. 
  • Understanding how climate change will affect our community, infrastructure and natural resources.  
  • Identify high priority actions needed to adapt to the impacts of climate change.   

The climate vulnerability assessment will inform the City's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan and will be available in Fall of 2024. 

Green Infrastructure 

Green infrastructure is a stormwater management system that mimics the natural water cycle. Sustainable solutions like rain gardens slow down and spread out the flow of storm water. The result is a cleaner Grand River, watershed and more beautiful city. 

Green streets is our adopted practice as part of our Vital Streets program, where we prioritize pervious paving, tree canopy and biking/walking infrastructure. For more information on some of the projects our Environmental Services department works on check out our Vital Streets Program and Green Infrastructure Tour story map! You can take a real or virtual tour of the City's best examples of soaking in rainwater where it lands. This improves water quality and helps prevent flooding. 

Another essential part of green infrastructure is the preservation of green space and our tree canopy, as both encourage natural absorption of stormwater. For more information on how our Parks & Recreation department is working to increase and maintain green space, check out their Parks & Recreation Strategic Master Plan Update. For more information on our tree canopy goal and how our tree canopy is maintained, explore the City's Forestry Division.

Emergency Management 

The City’s Office of Emergency Management works on planning for and coordinating disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts to strengthen the resilience of the Grand Rapids community. The Office of Sustainability works with the Office of Emergency Management to provide input on the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, as climate change is a key hazard identified in the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. 

To learn more information about how you and your family can prepare for an emergency download the City of Grand Rapids' Emergency Preparedness Guide. 


Community Master Plan  

The Office of Sustainability is collaborating with the Planning department to emphasize environmental justice, climate mitiagetion and adaptation in the Community Master Plan. For more information on the Community Master Plan process visit the Community Master Plan Update page

Climate Action and Adaptation Plan 

In partnership with the Community Collaboration on Climate Change (C4) and other community stakeholders we will also be co-creating a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan with community. A Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) is a roadmap for how the community of Grand Rapids will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change on public health, ecosystems, infrastructure and public spaces.

Preparations for the CAAP began in early 2022 for a formal launch in March 2023. A final plan is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, with an implementation appendix to be finalized in June 2025. 

This process will include extensive community engagement. Stay tuned for additional information on how you may be involved or reach out to Annabelle Wilkinson at for more details.  

Feel free to browse the below municipal climate plans, which we believe demonstrate best practices to be considered for our plan:

History of Investment

The City has invested more than $600 million over the years in climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.  

In 2005, the City of Grand Rapids was one of the first cities in the country to adopt sustainability as a priority. A few early actions taken by the City included hiring a sustainability consultant, launching the Community Sustainability Partnership (CSP) and creating a 20% renewable energy goal. This commitment and these early successes led to the City being the second city in North America to be designated by the United Nations University as a Regional Center for Expertise and Sustainability in 2006 and honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the Most Sustainable Mid-Sized City in 2010.  

Historically, we focused our work predominantly on environmental and fiscal sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy – all of which helped mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (climate change mitigation), prepare us for climate changes (climate adaptation) and increase our resiliency (climate resiliency). Our climate change journey more formally launched in 2013 with two key actions. First, we invested nearly $15 million to improve flood walls located throughout downtown in response to the 2013 flood that caused $1.4 million in damage to public infrastructure and almost breached the Water Resource Recovery Facility’s wastewater treatment processes. Second, in partnership with the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC), we published the West Michigan Climate Resiliency Report.   

Throughout the 2010s, the City had many climate change accomplishments. In 2010, the City became one of the first municipalities to provide free curbside single stream recycling for residents. In 2015, the City was one of the first and only cities to have successfully separated our stormwater and wastewater systems, at a cost of $400 million, thereby preventing untreated sewage from being discharged into the Grand River during intense rain events. And since 2015, the City and our partners have planted nearly 9,000 trees at a cost of $2.5 million in an effort to reach our 40% tree canopy goal (we are currently at 34%). These trees are estimated to provide $2.6 million annually in ecosystem services.  

Mayor Bliss has also actively engaged in and advocated for climate change action. She supported the creation of the Office of Sustainability and full-time leadership within the office. She also created the Mayor's Greening Initiative, raising private funds to plant hundreds of trees throughout the city each year. Mayor Bliss is a part of the We Are Still In and Mayors for Solar Project and has endorsed the Sierra Club 100% Clean Energy initiative. Under her leadership she created the Energy Advisory Committee to bring community members together to push the City to stay at the forefront of energy and climate work. And nationally, she is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayor's Energy Committee, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and Climate Mayors.  

Strategic Plan Commitments

In 2022, the City updated the Strategic Plan, which includes sustainability as one of the City’s six core values. Our commitment to addressing climate change is most prominently displayed within the “Health and Environment” priority of our Strategic Plan.  The first objective under this priority is to reduce carbon emissions, support climate adaptation and increase climate resiliency. Strategies within this objective include:  

  • Increase the knowledge, awareness and understanding of climate change among staff, partners, community stakeholders and residents

  • Enhance collaboration with partners on strategies and actions to address climate change

  • Reduce carbon/greenhouse gas emissions from City operations (buildings, utilities and fleet) by 85% by 2030 (compared to 2008) and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040

  • Create and support programs and policies to reduce carbon/ greenhouse gas emissions from the building, transportation and other key sectors throughout the community

  • Create and begin implementing a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) in partnership with the community that works in parallel with and compliments the new Community Master Plan

Most Recent Accomplishments

Some of the City's most recent notable sustainability and climate change accomplishments include:  

  • City Manager Washington approved one of the most progressive short and long-term carbon emissions reduction goals for municipal operations (85% reduction by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2040, as compared to 2008), which exceed the Paris Climate Accord target as well as targets established by President Biden and Governor Whitmer and that could cost the City between an estimated half a million and a million dollars annually for 24 years to achieve an 85% reduction based on best information available at this time, which includes constructing solar at Butterworth  

  • City Commission adopted 2021-2022 Legislative Priority Agenda includes responsibly protecting our environment and conserving our natural resources through policies and investments that increase climate resiliency, reduce carbon emissions, and support renewable energy production at industrial, community and residential scale  

  • With the guidance of the City’s Energy Advisory Committee, the City has reduced municipal carbon emissions by 30% since 2008 and estimating a 47% reduction by 2025 (due in part to our biodigester and LED street lighting)  

  • Constructed a nearly 1 megawatt ground mounted behind-the-meter solar array at the Lake Michigan Water Filtration Plant that will generate net savings of approximately $1.2 million over 24 years and increase the City’s renewable energy performance from 37.5% to 41%  

  • Intervened in Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) cases regarding distributed generation and voluntary green pricing programs  

  • Participated in the Zero Cities Project and launched Grand Rapids Policies and Programs for Equitable, Healthy and Zero Carbon Buildings (E.H.Zero) in partnership with the Urban Core Collective and the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan  

  • Catalyzed, built and supported the creation and launch of a three-year Community Collaboration on Climate Change (C4) initiative  

  • Led the nation on green infrastructure with over 9 million gallons of stormwater infiltrated since 2014 at a cost of $60 million  

  • Mobile GR’s work to reduce single occupant vehicle usage and transportation-related carbon emissions, including financial support for the DASH  

  • Hired an Environmental and Climate Justice Specialist and Healthy and Sustainable Buildings Specialist

  • Invested $85 million to construct a biodigester at the Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) that avoids $120 million in costs to expand the WRRF, includes the largest membrane system in the country and is the first to combine several elements (biodigester, renewable natural gas, phosphorus recovery), will generate 125,000 MMBtu’s of renewable natural gas (equivalent of 1 million gallons of gasoline that power 22 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle) and will reduce carbon emissions by 3,330 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, which is a 32% reduction in emissions for the WRRF

Learn How to Communicate about Climate Change

It’s hard when we encounter complicated problems to know what to do, after all we are only one person! Scary data can lead to feelings of helplessness, fear and anxiety. Not knowing what to do can make people dissociate as a defense mechanism and do nothing.

However, hope is here! By connecting with others, taking actions and sharing solutions you will empower others around you. So, start talking (positively) about climate change. See below for climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe's steps to better climate conversations (image courtesy of Sightline Institute), or check out our Communicating Climate Change Worksheet(PDF, 59KB).  

Common Ground on Climate

Create Your Climate Story

One way to bond and connect with people is to share your climate story. Your climate story is sharing your personal experience and connection with climate change. One of the reasons creating a climate change story is so important, is because it highlights the knowledge of lived experience making it easier for others to understand and relate to.

There is no “right” way to tell your climate story, but if you would like some prompts to begin check out the City's Climate Story Worksheet(PDF, 57KB).

Get Involved with Local Climate Action Groups

Make Your Voice Heard

Climate change didn't happen overnight - We need policy changes to achieve carbon neutrality and prepare for climate impacts.

Find out who is representing you in Lansing and in Washington D.C. and how you can contact them with Michigan League of Conservation Voters Find Your Elected Officials Tool. The more elected officials hear from constituents like you on climate change issues impacting your health and your community, the more likely they are to make it a priority to address.  

Want to have your voice heard on Integrated Resource Plans? 

Dive Into Data and Plans

Explore federal and state plans, initiatives, and data sets.  

Read up on Climate Change

Join others in community at WMEAC's Environmental Book Club.

Feel like learning solo? Browse the Climate Justice Book List our Environmental & Climate Justice Specialist, Annabelle, put together. Think another book belongs on the list? Send her an email at 

Read up on solutions with Project Drawdown.

More Resources

More of a visual learner? - Check out TED's list of climate change documentaries

Looking for climate change resources for kids? - Check out NASA's Climate Kids pages

Looking to lower your carbon footprint and electrify your home? Find out how much money you could get with the Inflation Reduction Act with Rewiring America's Savings Calculator

Want to learn more about all things solar? Check out the Solar Power Guide

Play The Climate Game.