Midwest Climate Impacts

Increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas levels are associated with changes in both temperature and precipitation. In the Midwest, rising temperatures are harmful to human health, increasing the risk of both heat-related illness and respiratory illness. Rising temperatures place additional stress on bridges and pavements. Rising temperatures are also harmful to agriculture and biodiversity.

In the St. Louis region in recent decades, there has been an increase in the number of days with an inch or more of rain. These events cause flash floods, basement backups, and temporary road closures. There has also been an increase in winter and spring precipitation in the upper Midwest, which is associated with riverine flooding. As with changes in temperature, changes in precipitation are also detrimental to agriculture and biodiversity. To find out more about how climate change is affecting the Midwest, see the Midwest Chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

The good news is that U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have declined since 2005. In addition, the cost of producing alternative energy such as solar and wind have fallen dramatically since 2010. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that maintaining emission-intensive systems may be more expensive than transitioning to low emission options. Find out how you can take action on climate change using available funding and incentives here.

Funding & Incentives for Climate Action

Businesses

Buildings are the largest contributor of GHG emissions in the St. Louis bi-state region, making up 64% of all emissions in 2015. Make a plan to take advantage of utility incentives in Missouri and Illinois. Federal tax incentives are also available for energy efficiency, clean energy, and EV charging infrastructure and to electrify your fleet.

Individuals

Take advantage of a tax credit to get a discounted home energy audit (or get one for free, for income-qualified residents in Missouri and Illinois). Make a plan to use available incentives to make your home more efficient and save money with renewable energy. Check out incentives from utilities in Missouri and Illinois, available tax credits and rebates, and income-qualified home weatherization assistance in Missouri and Illinois.

Local Governments

For the first time, governments, schools, and nonprofits can take advantage of clean energy tax credits to save 30% or more on clean energy projects. This tool provides more information about using the tax credits, and Lawyers for Good Government offers a form to submit legal questions related to the tax incentives. Energy grants and loans are also available for local government entities from MO Department of Natural Resources. You can also tell the St. Louis regional climate action planning team what projects you would like to implement, to be included in the Climate Action Plan. You can reach the team here.

Nonprofits

For the first time, governments, schools, and nonprofits can take advantage of clean energy tax credits to save 30% or more on clean energy projects. This tool provides more information about using the tax credits, and Lawyers for Good Government offers a form to submit legal questions related to the tax incentives. You can also share your input on projects in the St. Louis Regional Climate Action Plan. While eligible applicants for implementation grants will likely be states, municipalities, Territories, Tribes, and groups of eligible entities, you can collaborate on their projects or apply for other funding sources. You can reach the planning team here.

 

Regional Climate Action

East-West Gateway Council of Governments will be taking the lead on developing a St. Louis Regional Climate Action Plan, funded by the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program. The plan will help our region coordinate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other harmful pollutants, and track our progress by continuing regional GHG inventories. (Find the regional GHG inventories from 2010 and 2015 here.) The plan is intended to identify projects to reduce GHG emissions and prepare to leverage the many federal funding opportunities available to implement them. Click here for additional details about the plan and timeline.

The states of Illinois and Missouri are conducting state-wide plans under the same program. You can find information on the Missouri process here.

Updates / How to Contribute

Information about the Climate Action Plan was rolled out at the September OneSTL Sustainability Lab (view the recording here). Our form to submit project ideas closed on November 30, 2023, to allow time to perform the necessary emissions reductions analyses. OneSTL partners have been discussing opportunities to submit a collaborative, regional application, and East-West Gateway intends to collaborate with the State of Missouri on an application (due April 1, 2024). In order to be eligible for an implementation grant, projects must be covered in a Priority Climate Action Plan. The State of Missouri accepted written or email comments on their proposed plan through February 7, 2024. Draft measures of the St. Louis Regional Priority Climate Action Plan are available here. Please send any comments or questions about these measures to Anna Chott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, February 23, 2024.

To stay up to date about the planning process in the St. Louis region, subscribe to the OneSTL monthly newsletter here. You can also reach the planning team with questions here.

Don't wait for the climate action plan to start decarbonizing your home or business! Click here to find out more about current incentives available for solar, energy efficient appliances, and more.

Background

The overall goal of the St. Louis Regional Climate Action Plan is to document a path for the region to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. This will be accomplished by:

  • Creating an inventory of activities planned and already under way in the St. Louis MSA
  • Analyzing the possibility of scaling the existing projects up
  • Estimating the carbon reduction potential of the existing and scaled-up projects
  • Laying the groundwork for new projects needed to fill the gap in emissions reduction to achieve Net Zero by 2050.

East-West Gateway will use this process to review the goals, objectives and strategies in OneSTL and update the relevant sections that contain carbon-reduction recommendations.

If you have any questions about this process, you can contact us here. To stay up to date about the regional climate action planning process, subscribe to the OneSTL monthly newsletter here

Timeline

Project ideas for the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants in the St. Louis region are due to East-West Gateway Council of Governments by November 30, 2023, to allow time to perform the necessary emissions reductions analyses.

A Priority Climate Action Plan will be developed starting in the fall of 2023 and is due by March 1, 2024.

Implementation grant applications will be due April 1, 2024 for projects identified in the Priority Climate Action Plan.

A Comprehensive Climate Action Plan will be due in August of 2025.

Updates / How to Contribute

Information about the Climate Action Plan was rolled out at the September OneSTL Sustainability Lab (view the recording here). Our form to submit project ideas closed on November 30, 2023, to allow time to perform the necessary emissions reductions analyses. OneSTL partners have been discussing opportunities to submit a collaborative, regional application, and East-West Gateway intends to collaborate with the State of Missouri on an application (due April 1, 2024). In order to be eligible for an implementation grant, projects must be covered in a Priority Climate Action Plan. The State of Missouri accepted written or email comments on their proposed plan through February 7, 2024. Draft measures of the St. Louis Regional Priority Climate Action Plan are available here. Please send any comments or questions about these measures to Anna Chott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, February 23, 2024.

To stay up to date about the planning process in the St. Louis region, subscribe to the OneSTL monthly newsletter here. You can also reach the planning team with questions here.

Don't wait for the climate action plan to start decarbonizing your home or business! Click here to find out more about current incentives available for solar, energy efficient appliances, and more.

Holiday Recycling Info

Holiday Recycling info: