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The Climate Change Action Timeline is a compilation of organizations, reports, and events that have helped shape and advance the recognition and understanding of the causes and effects of climate change, and action taken to mitigate and adapt to its impacts. The timeline is intended to document local and regional efforts on this issue, and to be a tool for access to resources and information. We welcome relevant additions and corrections at climate@capecodcommission.org.

 

  • All
  • Global
  • Federal
  • State
  • Regional
  • Local

All

  • Cape Land Trusts established (varying times across the Cape)

    1970

  • Woods Hole Research Center formed

    1985

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) created

    1988

  • Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve designated

    1988

  • 1989

  • 1989

  • 1990

  • IPCC releases first Assessment Report

    1990

  • Cape Cod Commission established

    1990

  • First Regional Policy Plan

    1991

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted

    1992

  • Truro Energy Committee established

    1992

  • Chatham joins Community Rating System

    1992

  • Orleans joins Community Rating System

    1993

  • Barnstable County Energy Management Plan published

    1994

  • 1994

  • Harwich joins Community Rating System

    1995

  • Barnstable County Regional Energy Committee formed (later became Cape Light Compact)

    1995

  • Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge established

    1995

  • IPCC releases second Assessment Report

    1996

  • Three Bays Preservation formed (now known as the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition)

    1996

  • Kyoto Protocol adopted

    1997

  • Cape Light Compact (CLC) formed

    1997

  • 1997

  • MA Restructuring Act enabled towns to collaborate on energy efficiency

    1997

  • First Massachusetts State Hazard Mitigation Plan

    1998

  • Cape Cod Land Bank created

    1998

  • Cape & Islands Renewable Energy Collaborative (CIRenew) established

    2000

  • Community Preservation Act passed

    2000

  • 2000

  • 2000

  • Orleans Wind Energy Committee formed

    2000

  • IPCC releases third Assessment Report

    2001

  • Falmouth Energy Committee established

    2001

  • Cape Light Compact authorized to administer energy efficiency plans

    2001

  • Sandwich adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2002

  • Provincetown Recycling and Renewable Energy Committee established

    2003

  • Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan

    2004

  • Brewster Energy Committee established

    2004

  • Bourne adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2004

  • Chatham adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2004

  • Mashpee adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2004

  • Wellfleet adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2004

  • Brewster Alternative Energy Committee formed

    2004

  • Kyoto Protocol enters into force

    2005

  • Orleans adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2005

  • 2005

  • An Inconvenient Truth released

    2006

  • First utility scale wind turbine installed on Cape Cod

    2006

  • IPCC releases fourth Assessment Report

    2007

  • Massachusetts joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

    2007

  • CLC invests $3 million to create Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC)

    2007

  • Sandwich Energy Committee established

    2007

  • Citizens' Climate Lobby launched

    2007

  • 2008

  • 2008

  • CIRenew issues “A Call to Action and Report to the Community”

    2008

  • Installation of large wind turbines at Massachusetts Military Reservation (now Joint Base Cape Cod)

    2008

  • 350.org founded

    2008

  • President Bush signs Energy Policy Act of 2008 into law

    2008

  • 2009

  • Greenhouse gas emissions inventory for Massachusetts published

    2009

  • 2009

  • Cape Cod Multi-hazard Mitigation Plan adopted

    2010

  • Mashpee Energy Review established

    2010

  • Mashpee designated Green Community

    2010

  • Chatham updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2010

  • Barnstable Renewable Energy Commission established

    2010

  • Federal E-Vehicle Tax Rebate Program

    2010

  • Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report

    2011

  • Truro designated Green Community

    2011

  • Barnstable adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Dennis adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Harwich adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Provincetown adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Truro adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Provincetown designated Green Community

    2011

  • Chatham Energy Committee established

    2011

  • Cape Cod National Seashore becomes a Climate Friendly Park

    2011

  • Provincetown joins Community Rating System

    2012

  • Yarmouth Energy Committee established

    2013

  • IPCC releases fifth Assessment Report

    2014

  • Wellfleet designated Green Community

    2014

  • Orleans Renewable Energy/Wind Committee established

    2014

  • Massachusetts E-Vehicle rebate incentive (2014-2019)

    2014

  • Paris Agreement reached

    2015

  • 2015

  • Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative (CCCCC) established

    2015

  • Cape Cod Commission begins Resilient Cape Cod Project

    2015

  • Barnstable County hires FEMA Community Rating System Coordinator

    2015

  • Harwich improves Community Rating System (CRS) rating

    2015

  • Bourne Energy Advisory Committee established

    2015

  • Harwich Utility and Energy Conservation Commission established

    2015

  • Pope Francis published "Laudato Si"

    2015

  • Executive Order 569 signed into law

    2016

  • Paris to Pleasant Bay (CCCCC)

    2016

  • Provincetown updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2016

  • 350 Cape Cod formed

    2016

  • Blue Institute at Cape Cod is incorporated

    2016

  • Brewster releases Coastal Adaptation Strategy

    2016

  • Faith Communities Environmental Network (FCEN) created

    2016

  • Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy founded

    2016

  • Wellfleet joins Community Rating System

    2016

  • Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Initiated

    2017

  • Sandwich updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Truro updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Falmouth adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Wellfleet updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Orleans improves Community Rating System (CRS) rating

    2017

  • Outer Cape Energize formed

    2017

  • Bourne updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Harwich updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Mashpee updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Yarmouth adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Harwich Energy Committee established

    2017

  • Eastham joins Community Rating System

    2017

  • Greta Thunberg on World Stage

    2017

  • MA Department of Public Utilities approves Eversource Charging Station Funds

    2017

  • Mashpee joins Community Rating System

    2017

  • United States withdraws from Paris Accord, increasing importance of local action

    2017

  • 2018

  • IPCC publishes Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5C

    2018

  • Environmental Bond Bill signed

    2018

  • Massachusetts State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan updated

    2018

  • First Massachusetts Comprehensive Energy Plan

    2018

  • 2018 Regional Policy Plan

    2018

  • Net Zero Cape & Islands Roundtable

    2018

  • Chatham updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2018

  • Falmouth designated MVP community

    2018

  • Sandwich designated MVP community

    2018

  • Harwich designated Green Community

    2018

  • Orleans designated Green Community

    2018

  • Yarmouth designated Green Community

    2018

  • Barnstable Infrastructure and Energy Committee established

    2018

  • Dennis Alternative Energy Committee established

    2018

  • Brewster joins Community Rating System

    2018

  • Green Communities Act includes strategic electrification

    2018

  • MA Department of Public Utilities approves National Grid Charging Station Funds

    2018

  • An Act to Advance Clean Energy 2018

    2018

  • Update to Green Communities Act: allows energy efficiency funds for storage, technologies support, renewable energy

    2018

  • Wellfleet joins Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy 

    2018

  • IPCC refines Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

    2019

  • IPCC publishes Special Report: Climate Change and Land

    2019

  • IPCC publishes Special Report: The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

    2019

  • 2020 Regional Transportation Plan update dedicates funding for climate change

    2019

  • Cape Cod Commission releases Cape Cod Coastal Planner

    2019

  • Cape Cod Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy updated

    2019

  • Net Zero Cape & Islands Roundtable

    2019

  • Bourne designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Barnstable designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Brewster designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Chatham designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Eastham designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Orleans designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Provincetown designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Truro designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Wellfleet designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Sandwich joins Community Rating System

    2019

  • Yarmouth designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Wellfleet Energy and Climate Action Committee established

    2019

  • Brewster, Chatham, and Dennis designated as green communities

    2019

  • Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce forms Sustainable Economic Development Pillar

    2019

  • Cape Cod National Seashore selected to be 1 of 3 national parks for a climate change operational resiliency study

    2019

  • 2020

  • Chatham Conservation Foundation forms Salt Marsh Task Force

    2019

  • Dennis applied to Community Rating System (CRS)

    2019

  • 2019

  • Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, and Eastham develop regional shoreline management plan

    2019

  • Storm Tide Pathways mapping for CCB shoreline

    2019

  • Truro Climate Action Committee formed

    2019

  • Truro Select Board passes declaration of the importance of the climate crisis and in support of the student strike movement

    2019

  • Yarmouth Resources Advisory Committee Formed

    2019

  • Wellfleet pursues MVP Action Plan

    2019

  • Falmouth applied to Community Rating System (CRS)

    2019

  • Cape Cod Commission prepares Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions inventory

    2020

  • Climate Collaborative establishes Cape Cod CAN

    2020

  • Eastham updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2020

  • Dennis designated MVP Community

    2020

  • Harwich designated MVP Community

    2020

  • Mashpee designated MVP Community

    2020

  • Seaport Economic Council starts grant programs to create jobs and build resilience to the impacts of climate change

    2020

  • Cape Cod Commission takes up concerns of petition by 350 Cape Cod to modify the Regional Policy Plan to further address the causes of climate change

    2020

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Global

  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) created

    1988

  • 1989

  • IPCC releases first Assessment Report

    1990

  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted

    1992

  • 1994

  • IPCC releases second Assessment Report

    1996

  • Kyoto Protocol adopted

    1997

  • IPCC releases third Assessment Report

    2001

  • Kyoto Protocol enters into force

    2005

  • An Inconvenient Truth released

    2006

  • IPCC releases fourth Assessment Report

    2007

  • Citizens' Climate Lobby launched

    2007

  • 350.org founded

    2008

  • IPCC releases fifth Assessment Report

    2014

  • Paris Agreement reached

    2015

  • Pope Francis published "Laudato Si"

    2015

  • Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy founded

    2016

  • Greta Thunberg on World Stage

    2017

  • IPCC publishes Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5C

    2018

  • IPCC refines Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

    2019

  • IPCC publishes Special Report: Climate Change and Land

    2019

  • IPCC publishes Special Report: The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

    2019

    Back to Top

Federal

State

  • MA Restructuring Act enabled towns to collaborate on energy efficiency

    1997

  • First Massachusetts State Hazard Mitigation Plan

    1998

  • Community Preservation Act passed

    2000

  • 2000

  • Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan

    2004

  • 2005

  • Massachusetts joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

    2007

  • 2008

  • 2008

  • Greenhouse gas emissions inventory for Massachusetts published

    2009

  • 2009

  • Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report

    2011

  • Massachusetts E-Vehicle rebate incentive (2014-2019)

    2014

  • Executive Order 569 signed into law

    2016

  • Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Initiated

    2017

  • MA DPU approves Eversource Charging Station Funds

    2017

  • Environmental Bond Bill signed

    2018

  • Massachusetts State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan updated

    2018

  • First Massachusetts Comprehensive Energy Plan

    2018

  • Green Communities Act includes strategic electrification

    2018

  • MA DPU approves National Grid Charging Station Funds

    2018

  • An Act to Advance Clean Energy 2018

    2018

  • Update to Green Communities Act: allows energy efficiency funds for storage, technologies support, renewable energy

    2018

  • Seaport Economic Council starts grant programs to create jobs and build resilience to the impacts of climate change

    2020

    Back to Top

Regional

  • Cape Land Trusts established (varying times across the Cape)

    1970

  • Woods Hole Research Center formed

    1985

  • Cape Cod Commission established

    1990

  • First Regional Policy Plan

    1991

  • Barnstable County Energy Management Plan published

    1994

  • Barnstable County Regional Energy Committee formed (later became Cape Light Compact)

    1995

  • Cape Light Compact (CLC) formed

    1997

  • Cape Cod Land Bank created

    1998

  • Cape & Islands Renewable Energy Collaborative (CIRenew) established

    2000

  • Cape Light Compact authorized to administer energy efficiency plans

    2001

  • CLC invests $3 million to create Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC)

    2007

  • CIRenew issues “A Call to Action and Report to the Community”

    2008

  • Cape Cod Multi-hazard Mitigation Plan adopted

    2010

  • Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative (CCCCC) established

    2015

  • Cape Cod Commission begins Resilient Cape Cod Project

    2015

  • Barnstable County hires FEMA Community Rating System Coordinator

    2015

  • Paris to Pleasant Bay (CCCCC)

    2016

  • 350 Cape Cod formed

    2016

  • Faith Communities Environmental Network (FCEN) created

    2016

  • 2018 Regional Policy Plan

    2018

  • Net Zero Cape & Islands Roundtable

    2018

  • 2020 Regional Transportation Plan update dedicates funding for climate change

    2019

  • Cape Cod Commission releases Cape Cod Coastal Planner

    2019

  • Cape Cod Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy updated

    2019

  • Net Zero Cape & Islands Roundtable

    2019

  • Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce forms Sustainable Economic Development Pillar

    2019

  • Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, and Eastham develop regional shoreline management plan

    2019

  • Storm Tide Pathways mapping for CCB shoreline

    2019

  • 2019

  • Cape Cod Commission prepares Regional Greenhouse Gas Emissions inventory

    2020

  • Climate Collaborative establishes Cape Cod CAN

    2020

    Back to Top

  • Cape Cod Commission takes up concerns of petition by 350 Cape Cod to modify the Regional Policy Plan to further address the causes of climate change

    2020

Local

  • Truro Energy Committee established

    1992

  • Chatham joins Community Rating System

    1992

  • Orleans joins Community Rating System

    1993

  • Harwich joins Community Rating System

    1995

  • Three Bays Preservation formed (now known as the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition)

    1996

  • Orleans Wind Energy Committee formed

    2000

  • Falmouth Energy Committee established

    2001

  • Sandwich adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2002

  • Provincetown Recycling and Renewable Energy Committee established

    2003

  • Brewster Energy Committee established

    2004

  • Bourne adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2004

  • Chatham adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2004

  • Mashpee adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2004

  • Wellfleet adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2004

  • Brewster Alternative Energy Committee formed

    2004

  • Orleans adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2005

  • First utility scale wind turbine installed on Cape Cod

    2006

  • Sandwich Energy Committee established

    2007

  • Installation of large wind turbines at Massachusetts Military Reservation (now Joint Base Cape Cod)

    2008

  • Mashpee Energy Review established

    2010

  • Mashpee designated Green Community

    2010

  • Chatham updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2010

  • Barnstable Renewable Energy Commission established

    2010

  • Truro designated Green Community

    2011

  • Barnstable adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Dennis adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Harwich adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Provincetown adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Truro adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2011

  • Provincetown designated Green Community

    2011

  • Chatham Energy Committee established

    2011

  • Provincetown joins Community Rating System

    2011

  • Yarmouth Energy Committee established

    2013

  • Wellfleet designated Green Community

    2014

  • Orleans Renewable Energy/Wind Committee established

    2014

  • Bourne Energy Advisory Committee established

    2015

  • Harwich improves Community Rating System (CRS) rating

    2015

  • Harwich Utility and Energy Conservation Commission established

    2015

  • Provincetown updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2016

  • Blue Institute at Cape Cod is incorporated

    2016

  • Brewster releases Coastal Adaptation Strategy

    2016

  • Wellfleet joins Community Rating System

    2017

  • Sandwich updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Truro updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Falmouth adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Wellfleet updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Outer Cape Energize formed

    2017

  • Bourne updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Harwich updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Mashpee updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Yarmouth adopts Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2017

  • Harwich Energy Committee established

    2017

  • Eastham joins Community Rating System

    2017

  • Orleans improves Community Rating System (CRS) rating

    2017

  • Mashpee joins Community Rating System

    2017

  • Chatham updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2018

  • Falmouth designated MVP community

    2018

  • Sandwich designated MVP community

    2018

  • Harwich designated Green Community

    2018

  • Orleans designated Green Community

    2018

  • Yarmouth designated Green Community

    2018

  • Barnstable Infrastructure and Energy Committee established

    2018

  • Dennis Alternative Energy Committee established

    2018

  • Brewster joins Community Rating System

    2018

  • Wellfleet joins Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy 

    2018

  • Bourne designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Barnstable designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Brewster designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Sandwich joins Community Rating System

    2019

  • Chatham designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Eastham designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Orleans designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Provincetown designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Truro designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Wellfleet designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Yarmouth designated MVP Community

    2019

  • Wellfleet Energy and Climate Action Committee established

    2019

  • Brewster, Chatham, and Dennis designated as green communities

    2019

  • Chatham Conservation Foundation forms Salt Marsh Task Force

    2019

  • Dennis applied to Community Rating System (CRS)

    2019

  • Truro Climate Action Committee formed

    2019

  • Truro Select Board passes declaration of the importance of the climate crisis and in support of the student strike movement

    2019

  • Yarmouth Resources Advisory Committee Formed

    2019

  • Wellfleet pursues MVP Action Plan

    2019

  • Falmouth applied to Community Rating System (CRS)

    2019

  • Eastham updates Hazard Mitigation Plan

    2020

  • Dennis designated MVP Community

    2020

  • Harwich designated MVP Community

    2020

  • Mashpee designated MVP Community

    2020

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