lllinois’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed by about one degree (F) in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or melting sooner.

While precipitation has increased by an average of 4% nationwide between 1901 and 2015, Illinois has seen as much as a 10% rise in precipitation in this period. Most of this moisture is experienced as increased rainfall in the winter and spring, bringing hazards such as rising water levels of lakes, severe weather and tornadoes and exacerbating ecological issues like algae blooms and invasive species migration. These challenges expose the weaknesses in ageing infrastructure and hold severe consequences for the agricultural sector, where waterlogging is expected to cause a 10-30% decline in corn and soy yields.

The midwest’s economic powerhouse, Illinois is the fifth-most energy consuming state in the country, with 31% of its end-use consumption coming from the industrial sector, but is also a major electricity generator with the largest number of nuclear power plants in the nation. A key hub for crude oil and natural gas moving throughout the United States. Illinois also has substantial coal reserves and some crude oil resources as well. A  leading producer of both ethanol and biodiesel, Illinois’ primary renewable resource is biofuels. The state is the third-largest ethanol producer, after Iowa and Nebraska, and has the third-largest ethanol production capacity and the fourth-largest biodiesel production capacity in the nation.

The state is a leader in wind-powered electricity generating capacity, ranking sixth in the nation. By  2019, wind power had become the primary renewable resource used for  electric power generation, supplying 7%, triple what it was in 2010. with a goal of procuring 75% of its renewable energy from wind by 2025.

Illinois took ambitious steps in 2018 to decarbonize its fossil-fuel dependent economy by passing the Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan with goals of 25% renewable energy by 2025. This portfolio standard also invests in job creation and a plan for making solar energy affordable for all.

Already by 2019, Illinois had become a leader in wind-powered electricity generating capacity, ranking sixth in the nation. Making up 7% of its electric power generation (triple of what it was in 2010), wind power was its primary renewable resource. Its greater goal is to procure 75% of its renewable energy from wind by 2025.

A new plan called the Clean Energy Jobs Act was proposed in 2019, with the backing of Governor J.B. Pritzker, to establish a target of 100% renewable energy by 2050 and put it in league with 14 other states (including Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico). On 9/15/2021, with support from both sides of the aisle, the governor succeeded,  signing a massive climate and energy plan (including supporting three of Illinois’ nuclear power plants and doubling the subsidies available for renewable energy companies to build wind and solar projects)  to get Illinois to 40% renewable energy by 2030, 50% by 2040, and 2050 for when 100% of the state’s power comes from “ clean” sources that include nuclear plants  Fossil fuels as power sources will be largely phased out of Illinois’ energy portfolio by 2045.

At the signing Pritzker said, “We’ve seen the effects of climate change right here in Illinois repeatedly in the last two and a half years alone,” he said. “A polar vortex. Devastating floods. Microbursts that destroy buildings. Record lake levels. Extreme heat.”

President Biden’s administration praised the deal Wednesday, with U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm issuing a statement saying Illinois’ law will show “just what bold state-level action can do to usher in the clean energy future.”

“Preserving our existing fleet of nuclear reactors, adopting more clean and renewable energy, and incentivizing sales of electric vehicles are all key components of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and essential to reaching our nation’s bold climate goals,” Granholm said.

Illinois is one of twenty five states committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, which is working to implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement.


Illinois Put a Stop to Local Governments’ Ability to Kill Solar and Wind Projects

By Dan Gearino, Aydali Campa 02/27/23
Two years ago, Illinois had adopted a landmark clean energy law that called for building vast amounts of renewable power. At the same time, 15 counties with some of the most land available for wind…
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How Kane County feels about climate change

By Stacker 02/04/23
According to the Pew Research Center, about two-thirds of Americans feel the federal government is not doing enough to counteract the effects of climate change. While a majority of U.S. adults acknowledge climate change to…
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ComEd report shows how science and supercomputers help utilities adapt to climate change

By Kristen Mally Dean 01/13/23
ComEd and Argonne National Laboratory partnered on a milestone report that analyzes the impact of climate in future northern Illinois.
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State tackling harmful Lake Michigan shoreline erosion at Illinois Beach State Park

Two ground-breaking projects underway at Illinois Beach State Park will help protect precious shoreline from erosion caused by Lake Michigan waves and inform future decisions about how to blunt the effects of erosion and climate…
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New State Water Plan spotlights 13 critical water-related challenges for Illinois

The Illinois State Water Plan, which serves as a blueprint for addressing key water-related challenges in the state over the next decade, has been updated for the first time since 1984 and is available to…
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As Flooding Increases, Chicago Looks To Make Basement Housing Safer – Inside Climate News

By Siri Chilukuri 12/26/22
This story is part of a collaborative series, from the Institute for Nonprofit News, Borderless Magazine and four other news partners, examining climate resilience across the Great Lakes. This reporting was made possible with support…
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Chicago teachers fund to divest fossil fuels by end of 2027

By Rob Kozlowski 10/21/22
The $11.5 billion pension fund's board at its Oct. 20 meeting approved a new resolution seeking to engage with fossil fuel companies to encourage them toward paths of renewable energy, as well as commit to…
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Persistent Rains Pummel Chicago, Submerging Roads and Swamping Basements

By Julie Bosman 09/11/22
Torrential, unrelenting rains swept through Chicago on Sunday, flooding basements and alleys, closing grocery stores and restaurants, and leaving cars floating under viaducts on streets impassable with deep water.
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Chicago’s city-owned buildings will shift to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025

By Matt Hickman 08/10/22
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced this week that her administration’s plan to purchase clean, renewable energy for all city-owned facilities and operations by 2025 will move ahead following the finalization of a $422 million contract…
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Illinois prepares to reboot low-income solar program to improve access for all

By Kari Lydersen 07/28/22
Solar and environmental justice advocates are hopeful that changes being made to an Illinois low-income solar program will help it finally catch on in the communities it was meant to serve. Illinois Solar for All…
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Solar, storage projects set to bring jobs, tax revenue to Illinois coal communities

By Kari Lydersen 07/12/22
The sites for the installations were recently announced, along with five other former coal plants that will host standalone energy storage projects. Vistra, which owns the solar-plus-storage sites, will receive a premium for renewable energy…
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Chicago gets failing grade for ozone air pollution from American Lung Association

By Stacey Baca 04/22/22
A new report from the American Lung Association gives the Chicago area a failing grade when it comes to some types of air pollution. Officials from the organization said the city ranks in their top…
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Ameresco to develop solar facility at abandoned Illinois landfill

Renewable energy developer Ameresco said Thursday it would work with officials in Illinois to develop a 5-megawatt solar power facility at an abandoned landfill, which could bring $1 million in revenue.

City of Alton, IL and Ameresco Move Forward on 5MW Solar Project

Ameresco, Inc., (NYSE: AMRC), a leading cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, today announced its partnership with the City of Alton, Illinois to develop and install a 5 megawatt AC (MWAC)/7 megawatt…

GOP lawmakers urge for policies to address Illinois’ increased energy costs

Energy prices in Illinois are increasing and Republican lawmakers are blaming the governor's energy policies.

Midwest coalition pins hopes on federal funding for regional hydrogen hub

Illinois business leaders and researchers are hoping to leverage hundreds of millions of federal dollars to develop a thriving “hydrogen economy.”

Illinois governor signs bill establishing SAF tax credit

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Feb. 3 signed the Invest in Illinois Act. The legislative package, in part, creates a $1.50 per gallon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) purchase tax credit to support the supply and…

Illinois Enacts New Law to Standardize Local Permitting for Renewable Energy Facilities

On Friday, January 27, 2023, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a new law, Public Act 102-1123, which refines county governments’ ability to regulate new commercial wind and solar energy facilities. Specifically, PA 102-1123 prohibits counties…

Activists call for Chicago to rule out natural gas in new buildings, citing health risks, costs and climate change

Environmentalists, activists and consumer advocates are calling on Chicago politicians to pass a clean buildings ordinance that would effectively rule out the use of natural gas in most new buildings.

Illinois’ ComEd seeks four-year, $1.47 billion rate increase to bolster the grid for EVs, electrification and climate change

ComEd filed for a four-year, $1.47 billion rate increase Tuesday with the Illinois Commerce Commission to bolster its grid for the demands of EVs, electrification and climate change.

Illinois House panel advances requirements for electric-vehicle charging at new, renovated buildings

A measure before the General Assembly would require new and renovated residential or commercial buildings to set aside parking spaces that could easily be converted into charging stations for electric vehicles.

Illinoisans likely won’t see changes from the new energy bill for a few years

It will take a few years before residents in the Metro East and across Illinois start to see some of the biggest effects of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, like the expansion of solar…

Kane County Solar Project to save millions on energy costs

A 2 megawatt solar (2MW) field to be installed at the Kane County Judicial Center in Geneva will generate enough energy to save taxpayers $5 million over the next 25 years.

United States: The Future Of Illinois Energy Policy: Renewable Energy Set To Expand

On September 15, 2021, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law the sweeping Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (SB2408), establishing the next steps for Illinois energy policy after years of negotiation. This legislation builds on…

Massive clean energy bill becomes law, investing billions in renewable, nuclear sectors

Gov. JB Pritzker was joined by environmental and social justice activists, union representatives, and lawmakers from both parties Wednesday as he signed into law a sweeping energy regulation overhaul that aims to phase out carbon…

NOAA, Chicago partner on climate plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

With help from NOAA, a caucus of Chicago’s metropolitan mayors released today one of the first regional climate plans in the United States. It calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from…

Preparing for Climate Change in Illinois

This page provides an overview of the steps the state is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan

Evanston has a long track record of success when it comes to climate action. Since the City Council’s unanimous decision to support participation in the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in 2006, our…

Chicago Climate Action Plan

To assess the impacts of climate change and to develop a plan for the future, the City of Chicago consulted leading scientists to describe various scenarios for Chicago’s climate future and how those would impact…

The University of Illinois Climate Action Plan

In 2008, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. This action committed the campus to carbon neutrality by the year 2050. The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)…


Illinois Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

Solar energy is picking up steam in Illinois, with almost 50,000 installations across the state. Homeowners continue to recognize the many benefits of going green, choosing to install solar panels in Illinois with the support…

Illinois State Profile and Energy Estimates

Located in the center of the United States, Illinois is the most populous Midwestern state, and ranks sixth in the nation in population and fifth in GDP. The state's population is concentrated in a few…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The State of Climate Adaptation in Public Health An Assessment of 16 U.S. States

EcoAdaptpartnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to assess the state of climate adaptation planning and implementation for climate-related threats to public health in 16 U.S. states.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Illinois

Between 2017 and 2019, Illinois experienced two floods and 10 severe storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Illinois

In the Midwestern region, extreme heat, flooding and intense rain is expected to harm agriculture, health and infrastructure. The National Climate Assessment also points to increased risks from climate change to the Great Lakes, including…

What Climate Change Means for Illinois

Illinois’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed by about one degree (F) in the last century. Floods are becoming more frequent, and ice cover on the Great Lakes is forming later or…

Florida Renewable Energy

Florida produces more electricity from biomass than solar, wind, and hydroelectricity combined. Burning biomass is an effective way to produce electricity, and has the added benefit of helping Florida farmers, businesses, and landfills get rid…

Wind Energy in Illinois

Find wind data and information in Illinois, including maps, capacity, ordinances, and more.

Illinois’ Voice for Consumer Choice

The Illinois Renewable Fuels Association supports the Illinois ethanol industry by pursuing legislative initiatives, conducting research, and developing infrastructure – all so Illinois consumers can have cheaper, more environmentally friendly options at the pump!

Solar Power in Illinois: All You Need to Know

Illinois Solar Power: Check Your Savings, Costs, Tax Breaks Incentives and Rebates. If you live in the state of Illinois, the switch to solar can give you considerable cash savings over its service life.

Ultimate Guide to Home Solar Panels in Illinois

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Illinois home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help…

Best Illinois Electricity Companies

Illinois became a deregulated state for large and industrial businesses in 1997 and a fully deregulated state in 2008. This means if you’re a resident or a business owner in Illinois, you have a choice…

Illinois solar incentives and rebates help you save on solar

If you live in Illinois and are considering investing in a solar energy system for your home, here’s some great news for you: your state offers myriad solar incentives to help you out. Even if…

Illinois Renewable Energy Association

IREA offers private tours of a solar installation


Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…
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‘Utility accountability’ centerpiece of clean-energy outline

By John O'connor   08/21/20  
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday provided a substantive look at how he wants to make Illinois a completely renewable-energy state by 2050 with tighter controls on utility companies amid an influence-peddling scheme involving ComEd. “Real…
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Dakota Access Pipeline to Shut Down Pending Review, Federal Judge Rules

By Jacey Fortin and Lisa Friedman   07/06/20  
The Dakota Access Pipeline, an oil route from North Dakota to Illinois that has inspired intense protests and legal battles, must shut down pending an environmental review and be emptied of oil by Aug. 5,…
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Facing coronavirus and a ‘cliff,’ can Illinois solar survive?

By Kari Lydersen   05/04/20  
Legislation that sought to boost the shrinking fund for solar incentives is on hold, as are many installations across the state.
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Chicago requires new building construction include EV charging capabilities

By Robert Walton   04/28/20  
The Chicago City Council last week approved an ordinance requiring that new construction of some residential and commercial buildings ensures at least 20% of any supplied parking spaces are ready for electric vehicle (EV) charging…
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From rust to resilience: What climate change means for Great Lakes cities

By Kari Lydersen   04/21/20  
Even as Great Lakes cities cope with economic turbulence, climate change brings new challenges and opportunities. ...
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Commentary: Illinois clean energy bill risks reliability, raises costs on consumers

By Alex Messina / Illinois Chamber of Commerce   03/05/20  
It is imperative that policies also consider costs, benefits, and the competitiveness of the U.S. and Illinois economy, writes Alex Messina of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
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Illinois legislation promises a renewable energy revolution. But who would pay?

Kari Lydersen   02/24/20  
Two major bills aimed at getting the state to 100% renewable power would slightly increase charges on utility customers.
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Illinois governor wants clean energy legislation, could push state out of PJM power grid

By Scott DiSavino   01/30/20  
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker called on the state legislature to pass clean energy legislation in his State of the State address, providing a boost to advocates of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which could push…
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Illinois’ energy future needs sense of urgency

CST Editorial Board   08/22/19  
Some in Springfield reportedly are considering putting important energy legislation on the back burner. It’s a horrible idea, and here’s why.
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Asian carp have never breached a body of freshwater the size of Lake Michigan.

By Tony Briscoe   08/13/19  
As Asian carp have stormed up the Illinois River in the past several decades, looming precariously close to Lake Michigan, scientists have been forced to ponder an alarming question: What if the invasive species actually breached…
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Lake Michigan has swallowed up 2 Chicago beaches this summer. Experts say the worst could still be on the way.

By Tony Briscoe   08/01/19  
For the second straight month, according to preliminary records, Lake Michigan has crested to its highest mark in over three decades — each time 1 inch shy of record highs set in 1986.
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More tornadoes are touching down east of the Mississippi River. If the Midwest is the dartboard, ‘the bull’s-eye is Chicago.’

By Tony Briscoe   07/12/19  
Data shows the Plains region has experienced fewer cyclones between 1979 and 2017. Meanwhile, the Midwest and Southeast are seeing more significant tornadoes — those carrying 86-plus-mph winds — marking an intriguing but poorly understood…
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Health Officials (Mostly) Not Waiting to Act on Climate

By Juanita Constible   07/09/19  
A new report released by EcoAdapt with the support of NRDC finds that public health departments in 16 U.S. states are building their capacity to deal with the myriad health harms of climate disruption—even if…
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As Trump attempts to prop up the struggling coal industry, Illinois is taking another step away from its dirtiest source of electricity

Under a deal brokered by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration, the Texas-based owner of eight coal-fired power plants in central and southern Illinois agreed last week to shutter 40% of its fleet by the end of…
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Because of historic rains, less than half the normal amount of corn has been planted in Illinois.

By Tony Briscoe   06/08/19  
Following an unseasonably wet spring, some farm fields that would normally be filled with burgeoning corn stalks and soybean plants are holding so much water they could pass for ponds.
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Solar for All: Illinois incentive program aims to make solar more accessible

By Kari Lydersen   05/24/19  
Illinois Solar for All is designed to serve people traditionally left out of the solar market: low-income households, including rural homeowners and renters in urban apartment buildings; people of color; and residents of environmental justice…
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In Illinois, Cars And Trucks Top Coal As Biggest Global Warming Contributor

By Brett Chase   05/19/19  
Suburban drivers, Amazon deliveries and Uber rides are now the bigger source of greenhouse gases, presenting a new challenge for policy.
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In Illinois, Cars And Trucks Top Coal As Biggest Global Warming Contributor

By Josh Dawsey   05/19/19  
Suburban drivers, Amazon deliveries and Uber rides are now the bigger source of greenhouse gases, presenting a new challenge for policy.
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Jobs, equity and economic justice are at the core of new Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau   05/16/19  
Suburban drivers, Amazon deliveries and Uber rides are now the bigger source of greenhouse gases, presenting a new challenge for policy.
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Climate change has already started disrupting life in the Great Lakes region — and it’s only going to get worse

By Tony Briscoe and Morgan Greene   03/21/19  
A new report released Thursday by a team of Midwestern researchers suggests extreme bouts of precipitation and flooding could be the new normal in the Great Lakes region due to climate change.
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Community Solar Booms in Illinois, Sparking Fears of a Bust

By Kevin Stark   03/07/19  
When the Illinois Power Authority opened applications for community solar projects in February, the state was flooded with nearly 2 gigawatts' worth of project applications. A few weeks later, the Solar Foundation released a new…
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New Illinois Bill Targets 100% Renewable—Not Just Clean—Electricity by 2050

By Julia Pyper   03/04/19  
Getting to 100 percent renewables is “not just a pie-in-the-sky idea,” according to supporters.
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Is Illinois America’s Next Clean Energy Leader?

By J.C. Kibbey   03/01/19  
The Clean Energy Jobs Act that was introduced Thursday would move Illinois to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and make the state a national leader in clean energy and climate action.
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In Illinois, potential plant closures reignite nuclear debate

By Jeffrey Tomich / Energywire   02/14/19  
A day after Exelon Corp. CEO Chris Crane had a White House meeting with President Trump, a pair of Illinois Republicans are seeking their own sit-down with the utility executive to discuss what has become…
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Illinois Approves Path to 25% Renewable Energy by 2025

By Emma Foehringer Merchant   04/05/18  
This week the Illinois Commerce Commission finalized the state’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan, with tweaks that clean energy advocates say will boost installation and access to renewables in the state.
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Climate change threatens Midwest infrastructure, report says

By Mary Wisniewski   10/10/17  
The Midwest is safe from hurricanes and drought-driven wildfires. But that does not mean the region and its roads and bridges are free from the threat of climate change, a new study warns.
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