Governments around the world are struggling to determine the optimal policy responses to climate change. All regions, including Illinois, are subject to its varied global effects. The Climate Change Policy Initiative seeks to understand how public policy can help protect Illinois residents from the effects of climate change. These effects will include not only hotter summer temperatures, heat stroke, and heat-related diseases, but also higher levels of air pollution and increased numbers of droughts and floods for the state.
These changing weather patterns affect not only the health of the local population, but also the costs and profitability of important state industries such as agriculture and energy. The Climate Change Policy Initiative helps to evaluate forward-looking public policies that can help protect Illinois’s productivity, health, and future economic welfare.
The initiative’s policy topics include the following: a state carbon tax or cap-and-trade permit system to help control carbon dioxide emissions and replace other taxes; gasoline excise taxes or tolls to reduce emissions, relieve congestion, and pay for roads; energy production and regulation; air quality regulation; water supply infrastructure such as dam, reservoir, and waterway construction; and crop rotation and planning for climate change.