Climate change is a key challenge facing the natural, built, and community systems of Cape Cod. Cape Cod is vulnerable to climate-related hazards, such as sea level rise, storm surge and flooding, erosion, damaging winds, elevated summer temperatures, and wildfire. These hazards put vulnerable populations at risk and can cause loss of life, damage buildings and infrastructure, impair coastal environments, and otherwise impact a community's economic, social, and environmental well-being, including impacting how Cape Cod's ecosystems function.
Mitigating the causes of climate change and adapting to its effects on Cape Cod involves regional planning and policy decisions with both environmental and economic considerations.
Through the Cape Cod Climate Initiative, the Commission worked with stakeholders and partners to develop a Cape Cod Climate Action Plan. Below are resources that support this plan.
Stakeholders came together in late 2019 to provide input regarding planning priorities, concerns, and barriers to implementing climate-related actions. Feedback obtained helped to better understand actions taken to date, structure a stakeholder process, and identify priorities for development of the climate action plan.
The Cape Cod Commission is collaborating with stakeholders to identify strategies and develop an action plan to address the critical challenges posed by climate change. Working with the Consensus Building Institute, the Commission developed a stakeholder process that ensures balanced representation of all interests.
Many global, federal, state, regional, and local actions have helped shape and advance the recognition and understanding of the causes and effects of climate change and further strategies to become more resilient. The Climate Change Action Timeline is a living document, compiled with the input of over 100 regional stakeholders.
A regional greenhouse gas emissions inventory provides communities with information to understand opportunities for emissions reduction. This information can be used to develop and implement actions and strategies to reduce emissions on Cape Cod.
The Resilient Cape Cod project resulted in resources for communities to address the climate-induced impacts of sea level rise, storm surge, and erosion. The Cape Cod Coastal Planner provides data and information to help communities identify and plan for climate change adaptation.
One way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to support the increased adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and the infrastructure necessary for their use. Commission staff have developed a screening analysis that identifies potential locations appropriate for EV charging stations.
Renewable energy infrastructure is another way to support reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing the effects of climate change. A newly available screening analysis illustrates areas that might be appropriate for industrial scale solar infrastructure on Cape Cod.
The Climate Ambassador Program is an initiative to educate, engage and empower young people on Cape Cod to work together to combat climate change.
The Cape Cod Climate Action podcast follows the work of the Cape Cod Commission and its community partners working together as one Cape to build resiliency.