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Energy and Environment

How Would The Paris Climate Talks Affect The US Midwest?

D1v1d, flickr Creative Commons

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change got under way in Paris on Monday. With countries debating ongoing reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer considers how the talks could affect the U.S. Midwest.

University of Iowa engineering professor Jerry Schnoor says pledges governments have made in advance of the talks aren’t even enough to level off global greenhouse gas emissions—a driver of climate change. Still, he says they’re necessary. The Midwest may see wind energy grow.

"It's been fortunate for farmers in that they've been able to lease land for use for wind turbines and it has not resulted in great increase in electricity prices for consumers," Schnoor says.

Schnoor says the region can expect more solar power, especially if the U.S. commits to even greater reductions in traditional energy sources such as coal and oil. The talks continue through Dec. 11.