The first comparable data on greenhouse gas emissions among Midwestern states was released today, giving this critical region of the U.S. an important tool to set priorities and policies on climate change.
The comprehensive breakdown of Midwestern greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is found in Charting the Midwest: An Inventory and Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in America’s Heartland, a report released today by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in cooperation with the Lake Michigan Air Director’s Consortium (LADCO).
As more Midwest state governments begin to address climate change they need consistent, comparable data on where greenhouse gases are coming from, and which socioeconomic factors, such as population dynamics and economic output, are driving them. To meet this demand, the new report provides recent information and historical trends of greenhouse gas emissions in eight Midwest States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin. It also provides analysis of critical economic sectors in each state and their relative contributions to global warming pollution.
The data and perspective on each state’s emission will help public officials, business representatives, advocates, and citizens better understand the region’s role in climate change. It will also inform the design of state and regional responses, such as those to be discussed at this week’s Midwestern Governors Association’s Energy Security and Climate Change Summit in Milwaukee, WI.
“To solve any problem you first need to understand its scope and causes,” said John Larsen, WRI research associate and co-author of the report. “It is clear that whatever path the states in the Midwest choose to take in addressing climate change, the design of policies on a state and regional level requires a good understanding of the region’s emissions profile.”
Charting the Midwest breaks down key regional findings, important economic sector findings and GHG details particular to each state, including:
The report, and the cooperation of several state agencies in producing it, complements a recent paper issued by WRI that identified characteristics of state policies that have historically influenced federal policies. “Climate Policy in the State Laboratories” was released in September and emphasized, among other things, the importance of timely state action as well as the dissemination of analyses and data to guide federal decision-making.
WRI compiled the data in Charting the Midwest from its Climate Analysis Indicators Tool—United States (CAIT-US), covering the years 1990-2003, using the most recent and comprehensive emissions data available.