Illinois is Vulnerable to Climate Change:
In the Midwestern region, extreme heat, flooding and intense rain is expected to harm agriculture, health and infrastructure. The National Climate Assessment also points to increased risks from climate change to the Great Lakes, including harmful algae blooms, and increased incursions from invasive species.
Illinois farmers could experience crop losses of up to 24 percent over the next 5 to 25 years. By the end of the century, the state economy could lose $1.5 to $13 billion a year from crop losses alone.
In the next 35 years, the number of days hotter than 95°F in Illinois are expected to more than double, to upwards of 20 days a year. By 2050, the average Chicagoan will likely experience more days above 95°F than the average Texan does today.
Flooding in urban areas in Illinois has led to at least $2.4 billion worth of damage between 2007 to 2014.Rain in the state has increased by 10 percent in the last century. A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, leading to an increase in extreme precipitation and flooding.
Clean Energy Efforts and Opinions in Illinois:
Sixty-seven percent of adults in Illinois understand global warming is happening and more than half agree it is caused mostly by human activities.
A notable 80 percent of Illinois adults support funding research into renewable energy and 78 percent support regulating CO2 as a pollutant.
The Clean Power Plan requires Illinois to cut 42.1 percent of its power-sector emissions by 2030. More than half of the state’s electricity comes from zero-carbon nuclear, but CPP allows only new or upgraded nuclear plants to count towards required emissions reductions.
The state is not party to the lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan and is preparing plans to meet the emission reduction goals.
Installed solar capacity in Illinois was only 6MW at the end of 2014. Last year, two Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) rulings gave a boost to home solar by allowing easy connection to the grid.