Gov. Jennifer Granholm will meet with members of the Danish Royal Embassy on campus today to discuss the first leg in their partnership to address the prospect of an environmentally sustainable economy in Michigan and across the United States.

The Climate Group, an international nongovernmental organization that works with businesses and governments to stop climate change, will facilitate the partnership, which is meant to help create jobs in the field of sustainable energy.

Allison Hannon, Midwest regional manager for The Climate Group, said the event, which will take place in the Michigan League, will “maintain a dialogue” between the two governments.

“We’re bringing the Danish minister, sort of the European experience, over to Michigan and to the Midwest where we’re trying out figure out how we really do address climate change in the U.S.,” Hannon said.

The event, titled “Switching Gears,” will include two panel discussions with Michigan business leaders, including representatives from Ford Motor Co. and Whirlpool Corp., said Andrew Hoffman, a professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ross School of Business.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D–Mich.) will speak via video, and Granholm will speak in person and sign an agreement with Connie Hedegaard, the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy, officially cementing the collaboration between Michigan and Denmark.

Hannon said the Danish government officials chose to partner with Michigan because they wanted to work with a part of the United States where sustainable energy would have a large impact.

“With Gov. Granholm being the chair of the Midwest Governors Association and talking about green jobs and green manufacturing and a new energy economy this seems like really one of the most logical places to engage,” Hannon said.

Hannon said Hedegaard and others will be able to provide Michigan officials with advice on dealing with climate change because Denmark has a wide variety of experience in sustainable energy. It is the home of one of the largest wind manufacturing companies in the world and is a participant in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, which puts a price on carbon emissions.

Hannon added that Denmark is a leader in sustainable technologies and will even host a meeting of the Conference of the Parties — the highest meeting body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — in December.

Staff members from federal congressional offices and senate offices and members of Ann Arbor and Detroit’s Chambers of Commerce will also attend the event, Hannon said.

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