Iowa is Vulnerable to Climate Change:
Agriculture is the biggest contributor to Iowa’s economy, and, according to a Risky Business report, the whole Midwest region will likely face crop yield declines of up to 19% by mid-century and 63% by the end of the century due to increased temperatures and risk of multi-year drought. Unfortunately, only 66% of Iowa farmers believe global warming is occurring, and only 8% of those believe humans play a role in it.
Over the past 40 years, the Midwest has experienced an average of just 2.7 days a year of extreme heat (over 95°F). By the end of the century, parts of the Midwest, including Iowa, could see that number rise by 75 more days per year.
From 1900 to 2010, the average air temperature in the Midwest increased by more than 1.5°F, which has already led to lower crop yields as a result of increased extreme weather events.
Iowa Clean Energy Efforts and Opinions:
The majority of adults in Iowa, 60 percent, understand that global climate change is occurring. 78 percent support renewable energy research and 75 percent support regulating CO2 as a dangerous pollutant.
The Clean Power Plan would require Iowa to cut power-sector emissions by 41.5 percent by 2030. Iowa is not party to the lawsuit against the EPA and the Clean Power Plan, and plans to schedule a compliance meeting in the fall after the lawsuit makes its way through the courts.
Iowa generates more than half of its electricity from coal, but over 31 percent from wind, the largest of than any state.
As of 2014, Iowa had 29 megawatts of solar capacity installed, ranking 29th in the country. The state ranks 33rd in the country for planned solar installation in the next 5 years.