Climate change is costing Ohio’s cities money. And it will continue to do so. Earlier this month, Power a Clean Future Ohio and the Ohio Environmental Council released a report entitled The Bill Is Coming Due: Calculating the Financial Cost of Climate Change to Ohio’s Local Governments. The report explains in detail how climate change is raising costs of everything from street maintenance to construction projects in cities. As an example, this excerpt from testimony PCFO Executive Director Joe Flarida gave to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee describes how Cincinnati had to spend $18 million from its operating budget to reinforce a hillside that was collapsing due to increased rainfall in the city—$18 million that was intended for a new police station.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which was signed into law on August 16, 2022, directs significant federal funds to initiatives to address climate change, and many of those funds will go directly to cities and other local governments that are impacted by climate change. Those funds could not be more needed or timely. Shortly after signing the Inflation Reduction Act, the White House released fact sheets detailing the impact of the law in each state—Ohio’s fact sheet highlights, among other things, funding for a new Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program and investments in clean energy and energy efficiency upgrades (more detail below).
The following is what we know about specific funding in the IRA for cities. This info is drawn from this fantastic post at Columbia Law School’s Climate Law Blog.