Ohio is Vulnerable to Climate Change:
Ohio has developed no statewide plans or policies to adapt to climate change. The state received a D- on its report card for preparedness for climate-driven threats.
Most of Ohio is projected to face between 10 and 30 additional days of temperatures above 95°F by mid-century, over twice the current number.
Ohioans have a high prevalence of asthma rates comparable to the national average. High levels of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter common in coal plant emissions, both of which are produced in tandem with other greenhouse gases, are strongly linked to a rise in asthma attacks.The estimated asthma rates for the state are 9.9 percent for adults and 15.2 percent for children.
One of Ohio’s main economic industry is agriculture, 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.
In the Midwestern region, extreme heat, flooding and intense rain are expected to harm agriculture, health and infrastructure. The National Climate Assessment points to increased risks from climate change to the Great Lakes, including: algae blooms due to warmer water, increased incursions from invasive species, the likelihood of “dead zones,” all of which harm fishing and other water-based industries.
Ohio’s Clean Energy Efforts and Opinions:
A majority of adults in Ohio, 59 percent, understand that global climate change is occurring. 77 percent support funding research into renewable energy sources, and 74 percent support regulating CO2 as a pollutant.
The Clean Power Plan would require Ohio to cut emissions from power plants 35.8 percent. The state is party to the lawsuit against the Clean Power Plan, but has not suspended work on initiatives that would work to meet the targeted emissions reductions.
Coal and natural gas (which was 12 times greater in 2015 than 2011) provide the most of Ohio’s electricity by far.
As of 2014, Ohio ranked 23rd in the country for solar capacity with 118 MW already installed, and 510 MW expected in the next 5 years.
Ohio set a renewable standard to source 12.5 percent of its energy from renewables by 2027, at least 0.5 percent of which must come from solar energy. In September 2015 a legislative committee recommended an indefinite freeze on implementing the standard, however Governor Kasich’s office is preparing to fight the freeze in the state’s General Assembly.
Though extraction of natural gas is increasing rapidly in Ohio, there are no statewide standards on methane, a shorter-lived but much more potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas.
Ohio is ranked 26th in the country in terms of installed wind capacity with a total of 443MW with another 252MW currently under construction.