The majority of Ohio’s most pressing environmental concerns are impacted by climate change. We cannot succeed in our mission to protect air, land, water, and democracy for all who call Ohio home without addressing climate change.
It is now clear that climate change threatens public health on multiple fronts, harms industries that Ohioans rely on to feed our families, and alters the landscapes that make our state special and unique. Climate change will affect us all. As the dangerous impacts grow, communities that have been systematically left out will continue to suffer the most.
We can no longer accommodate doubters, tolerate big polluters, or shy away from bold action. Climate change is here and we already know the solutions that will help us avoid its worst impact.
Climate change is increasing risks to those with serious health conditions. Weather that contributes to poor air quality and the growing number of days with extreme temperatures threaten Ohioans’ health and safety. We can fight back by eliminating the most harmful climate-change-causing air pollutants. In doing so, we will lessen Ohio’s contribution to the causes of climate change while also decreasing health risks to our children and grandchildren.
Ohioans agree: our state needs more clean energy. We can reduce carbon and other pollutants that threaten our communities by increasing investments in energy efficiency and renewables by utilities, local governments, businesses, and citizens.
Cutting methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is good for Ohio’s communities and our climate. We are working with impacted communities to advocate for strong state and federal standards for methane pollution coming
from oil and gas operations.
We can reduce climate changing emissions and make the air in our cities healthier and cleaner for our families by encouraging electric vehicle (EV) usage. We are working with communities to help them invest in a robust EV charging infrastructure for the future.
From toxic algae to aging infrastructure, the challenges to our water systems keep growing. Climate change is threatening water from source to tap.
Pollution, warmer temperatures, and heavy rain contribute to toxic algae and threaten Ohio’s waterways. We are fighting back by advocating for water infrastructure upgrades for our cities and for resources to help farmers implement practices to keep pollutants out of our waterways.
A changing climate increases pressure on chronically underfunded water systems and aging infrastructure. This increases costs and burdens people with low incomes. We’re working with state policymakers and local communities to craft creative financing solutions to ensure our water systems can deliver safe and affordable drinking water to people everywhere.
Healthy lakes, rivers, and wetlands act as natural filters for drinking water before it reaches our treatment facilities, saving time and money. We are working with leaders at all levels of government to protect and restore these critical waterways.
Climate change is already devastating forests across the Midwest and Ohio. Warmer temperatures and increased precipitation will mean more pests, like ticks, and invasive species threatening public health and ravaging critical wildlife habitats. Our forests and parks – especially our publicly owned lands – are our best natural weapons in the fight against climate change.
If protected and allowed to reach their full potential, our public parks, wildlife areas, and forests will absorb excess
carbon dioxide pollution from the atmosphere. That is why we are working with federal and state leaders to craft management plans that put the health of our climate, lands, and people first.
In the coming years, heavily forested places like Southeastern Ohio will become a refuge for wildlife fleeing increasingly
inhospitable southern climates. It’s up to us to preserve Ohio’s forests and keep public areas free from harmful
practices such as mining, so wildlife can thrive.
Trees help provide shade and relief from the growing number of extreme heat waves threatening our communities. Together, we will push for local, state, and federal investments in the lush tree canopy cover and high quality greenspaces Ohioans need to protect our families from the heat and provide more opportunities to enjoy nature.
If we are going to take the action required to fight the causes and impacts of climate change, we must also fight for the protection and health of our democracy. Tackling climate change will take all of us and demands that environmental protection be a foundation for our leaders, no matter their political party, and not a polarizing issue.
When politicians create legislative districts that place their interests over their constituents’ interests, they perpetuate environmental injustice and continue to stall real, meaningful action on climate change. Accurate and fair districts will enable Ohioans to make their voices heard on the critical environmental challenges facing our state.
It should be quick and simple for Ohioans to make their voices heard. We can make that a reality by supporting policies like automatic voter registration that expand, not restrict, access to the voting booth.
Learn more about OEC’s Work on Climate Change.