Public Opinion Polling & Economic Impact Assessment, Climate Change and Clean Energy Issues in Indiana
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is an international non-profit organization that advocates for nature-based solutions that support a low-carbon economy. The Nature Conservancy Indiana, based in Indianapolis, directs TNC programming across the state.
Over the past few years, carbon emissions have been declining in Indiana. Despite this momentum, recent state legislation rolled back clean energy incentives, making it more difficult for businesses and households to invest in clean energy and climate-positive actions. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of Indiana issued a Request for Proposals in late 2019 that sought the services of a firm(s) to support two activities: public polling on climate change and clean energy issues in Indiana, and an economic impact assessment and case statement to understand and demonstrate the role of increased investment in clean energy and other climate actions for Indiana’s economic future. Through a competitive solicitation process they secured the services of Fourth Economy Consulting and BellWether Research.
In March 2020, Bellwether Research conducted a telephone survey of 600 Hoosier voters to determine their level of understanding and support for carbon reduction policies and programs in the state of Indiana. The results of the polling helped to inform the development and prioritization of the scenarios that were modeled to ensure that the analysis focused on issues currently supported by Indiana residents.
Fourth Economy engaged with TNC staff and a climate advisory committee to review a range of clean energy and climate actions that could be taken. An initial review of the environmental, economic, and social impacts of various actions lead to a decision to focus the analysis on two areas: renewable energy adoption and natural climate solutions implementation. We then looked at two scenarios, informed by TNC strategic planning, and set goals for each action.
The analysis showed that Indiana can build the economy of the future by supporting cleaner energy that provides jobs for Indiana residents. Adding more renewable energy will promote more energy security, where decentralized renewable energy generation makes the state less reliant on a few large generators. Investing in clean energy and natural climate solutions in Indiana will:
Accelerate leadership to generate economic
Retain investment capital and attract out-of state investors
Support a triple bottom line.
The report was utilized to educate elected officials and other policy makers regarding the benefits of the renewable energy sector to the State of Indiana and its residents.