Climate Change Efforts In The Midwest Could Curb More Heat Waves In Chicago

Rob Hart
July 26, 2019 - 3:42 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Climate change will mean hotter summers in the Upper Midwest. Some scientists say we could experience 30 days per year in which the heat index tops 100 degrees.

But, one expert said efforts are underway in the region that could, if implemented worldwide, limit the severity of climate change.

James Gignac is Midwest Energy Analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists and pointed to the Future Energy Jobs Act that was passed by the Illinois Legislature in 2016, along with similar efforts to limit or zero-out carbon emissions in energy production in Michigan and Minnesota. 

"We have a window of opportunity that we can take action and limit the number of (100-degree days in Chicago)," Gignac said.

He also said that clean energy initiatives in Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota can serve as an example to the rest of the world.

"We can revitalize our economy, create jobs and improve our quality of life," he said. 

The Future Energy Jobs Act encouraged investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. State lawmakers are considering the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which would require the state to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

It is the only energy legislation in Springfield that could actually secure savings for consumers while significantly ramping up renewable energy development in the stat, according to Citizens Utility Board, the Illinois General Assembly' nonprofit organization that represents residential utility customers across the state.