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'The Bill is Coming Due' and Ohio has to pay

Powerlines stand in the setting sun.
Powerlines stand in the setting sun.

A new report set out to estimate what climate change will cost Ohio cities and other communities by 2050. It found the cost will likely climb into the billions. The report was put together by the Ohio Environmental Council, Power a Clean Future in Ohio, and the Scioto Analysis.

Rob Moore is the principal for Scioto Analysis, one of the sponsors of the report.

"We also want to empower local officials to take action on climate through a number of measures, including policy and litigation, to to prepare for the impacts of climate change, mitigate and lessen its effects, and and take action on reducing all of the impacts they'll be facing," Moore said.

According to experts, ignoring climate change could lead to dire costs for Ohio’s local governments. The report estimates that Ohio will have to increase municipal spending between $1.8 billion and $5.9 billion per year.

These costs range from retrofitting buildings with AC and cooling roofs to deal with high temperatures; costs of running cooling centers; raising and fixing roads to deal with increasing flooding; and more. Dayton could spend anywhere from $3 million to $15 million on new air conditioning alone throughout the city.

Nolan Rutschilling is the Managing Director of Energy Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council.

"Local and state level action is more important than ever in fighting climate change," Rutschilling said. "So along with our leaders in the room here, leaders at the state House have a real opportunity to reduce the harms that can be done by climate change, by taking bold climate action."

Rutschilling said this report is critical for understanding the costs to come, and to encourage local leaders to begin to take action now before the costs are too great.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.