Energy & Climate Action Committee Presents to Select Board: Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Chatham

On December 14, 2021, the Chatham Energy & Climate Action Committee gave a presentation tonight to the Select Board on the potential economic impacts of climate change on Chatham. Committee Chair Bob Wirtshafter (also a Chatham CAN member), accompanied by Brian Miner and Janet Williams (also Chatham CAN members) based the presentation on research compiled by the Cape Cod Commission examining climate change’s potential economic impacts across Cape Cod. Wirtshafter noted that the long-term effects (by 2100) referenced amounting to $50 billion for Cape Cod and $3 billion for Chatham. These impacts are based on assumption that no action is taken.

Among the strategies mentioned were proposals to adopt new floodplain bylaws, retrofit existing buildings for flood protection in vulnerable areas, the elevation of vulnerable roads, and potential relocation of buildings and roads. Measures to protect, conserve, and restore natural ecosystems were also recommended. “It now becomes even more economic to us to generate and use clean energy, and to electrify our transportation,” added Wirtshafter. At the end of the presentation, the Select Board voted in favor of a motion to have further review of the recommendations made by the committee.

Below  is a brief video developed by the Cape Cod Commission to accompany their report, Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Cape Cod.


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