Preparing for Climate Change in Illinois

May 15, 2015

Preparing for Climate Change in Illinois

Illinois needs to prepare now for the coming changes associated with climate change, according to IGPA's Climate Change Policy Initiative. A new report, "Preparing for climate change in Illinois: An overview of expected impacts" (PDF), calls for a state-wide climate action plan to manage the negative consequences of climate change such as heat-related health crises, higher electricity costs, overwhelmed storm management infrastructure, decreased agriculture output, and rising costs in the insurance market.

The report is a product of the IGPA Climate Change Policy Initiative, which brings together scholars at the University of Illinois to better understand how public policy can protect Illinois residents from the negative effects of climate change.

“Illinois can expect more days each year with extreme heat events, such as heat waves, that will require more energy to power air conditioning and resources to help people who suffer from heat-related illnesses,” said Don Fullerton, one of the authors of the report. Climate change will also affect rainfall. Flooding, droughts, and storm damage will have real effects on agriculture. Crop and flood insurance rates will also rise, due to increased losses and damage associated with droughts, floods and other extreme events under climate change. To prepare, and to reduce those risks, the state can invest now in water resources infrastructure, electricity production, and transportation networks.

“Illinois policymakers need to consider many forthcoming issues […] the solutions will be complicated and will require major tradeoffs. The state needs a climate action plan with a process through which possible solutions can be articulated, debated, and implemented,” the authors conclude.


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(.PDF 786.65 KB)

Research Area: Social Policy

Policy Initiative: Climate Policy

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