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Charting the Midwest

An Inventory and Analysis of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in America's Heartland

This publication is an in-depth study and data analysis of GHG emissions for 8 Midwest U.S. States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Executive Summary

This report presents a quantitative overview and analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Midwest region of the United States. The study is the first to examine all six Kyoto GHGs across the entire Midwest economy using consistent and comparable data. Although several Midwest states have previously compiled their own state GHG inventories, the methodologies and data sources of these analyses differ, making it challenging to directly compare emissions across states. The data utilized here uniquely provide a common methodological framework for readily comparing GHG emissions.

The underlying GHG emissions data of this report are exclusively drawn from the U.S. module of the World Resources Institute's Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT-US). Emissions are examined at the regional, sectoral, and state levels, and within each context, major emissions sources, trends, and socioeconomic drivers are assessed. Also included in this report are GHG inventories for eight states in the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio & Wisconsin. Although the accuracy of emission estimates from any individual source can vary considerably, the uncertainties associated with the CAIT-US data set tend to be comparable with those of the Environmental Protection Agency's U.S. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, with sectoral emission estimates based on fuel consumption (e.g., electric generation, transportation) generally more certain than other sectors (e.g., agriculture, forestry). The latter, however, typically consistute a smaller percentage of total regional and state emissions.

These data and related analyses provide comprehensive and essential information for public officials, business representatives, advocates, and citizens in the Midwest and nationwide to fully understand the region's role in global climate change. As these and other stakeholders consider potential responses to this complex challenge, the key findings from this report should provide a better understanding of GHG emissions in the Midwest, affirm the importance of the region in both national and international climate change conversations, and compel individuals throughout the Midwest and elsewhere to develop solutions that significantly reduce GHG emissions in ways that are both immediate and enduring.

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