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Think Tank Study: Michigan’s Climate Haven Potential Demands Action


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Michigan, known for its abundance of natural resources and livable climate, has the potential to position itself as a climate haven amidst increasing climate perils in other regions. A recent report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan and Altarum, a Michigan-based health nonprofit, highlights the need for state officials to address the growing problem of population loss.

While Michigan’s climate offers a competitive edge over areas affected by hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, heatwaves, and sea-level rise, the state must overcome challenges and effectively market its advantages to attract both residents and businesses.


Michigan’s Climate Advantage

Michigan boasts several factors that make it an attractive option for climate-conscious individuals and corporations:

Abundant freshwater: The Great Lakes, accounting for a significant portion of the world’s surface freshwater, offer unparalleled access to this critical resource. Coupled with Michigan’s inland waterways and aquifers, the state possesses a valuable asset amidst increasing water scarcity concerns.

Temperate summers: Despite harsh winters, Michigan’s temperate summers present an appealing alternative to regions where rising temperatures render summers unbearable for billions of people.


Minimal natural disasters: Although Michigan is not immune to natural disasters, the state faces a relatively low risk compared to coastal states grappling with rising sea levels and hurricanes, as well as western states confronting megafires and megadroughts.


Marketing Michigan’s Climate Haven Potential


To leverage Michigan’s climate advantage, the state must initiate proactive marketing strategies. The Citizens Research Council President, Eric Lupher, suggests rebranding Michigan’s image and shifting away from the “Pure Michigan” campaign that primarily targets vacationers.

Instead, marketing efforts should focus on positioning Michigan as a long-term climate haven that offers stability, resilience, and an attractive living environment for individuals and businesses.


Attracting Corporate Investments


Corporations are increasingly considering climate change when making investment decisions. Site selectors and climate consultants report growing concern among businesses regarding the risks associated with climate hazards.

Michigan’s low disaster risk, coupled with its commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, presents a compelling case for corporate investments.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recognizes this trend and highlights the state’s stable climate and abundant freshwater as key factors attracting individuals and companies seeking a secure environment.


Immediate Population Challenges


While long-term investments from corporations and wealthy individuals provide promising prospects, Michigan must also address immediate population decline. Population projections indicate a downward trend starting around 2045.

To attract climate-focused newcomers, the state needs to ensure it can effectively care for its existing population. This requires an emphasis on job opportunities, a high standard of living, affordable costs, and an improved education system.


Competition Among Great Lakes States


Michigan faces competition from neighboring Great Lakes states, each possessing their own climate advantages. To outshine these competitors, Michigan must offer superior job prospects, an excellent quality of life, affordability, and a robust education system. While the state’s climate resilience provides a competitive edge, it should be part of a comprehensive strategy to attract residents and businesses.



Michigan’s potential as a climate haven is evident, with its abundant freshwater, temperate summers, and lower risk of natural disasters. However, the state must act proactively to market itself effectively, targeting both individuals and corporations.

By presenting a comprehensive package that includes job opportunities, a high standard of living, affordability, and a strong education system, Michigan can position itself as an attractive long-term destination. With careful planning and strategic efforts, Michigan can harness the opportunities presented by climate-conscious migration and secure a prosperous future.

News Desk, where most of the News Item edit for THE THINK TANK JOURNAL

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