The Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Cape Cod

The Cape Cod Commission released a report, The Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Cape Cod, that assesses the impacts climate change is likely to have on Cape Cod’s economy, revenues, and investment decisions, and evaluates costs and the benefits of key strategies to address climate change.  The Report shows that climate change and continued reliance on fossil fuels will affect all sectors of Cape Cod’s economy. Sea level rise will increase instances of flooding and damage to coastal property and infrastructure. Warming ocean temperatures will alter fisheries and encourage harmful algal blooms. Burning of fossil fuels will continue to emit pollutants with adverse effects on public health.  The Report posits four decarbonization scenarios:  a state -level emissions reduction baseline scenario, carbon emissions neutrality reduction scenario, state-level emissions reduction aggressive efficiency scenario, and a  state-level emissions reduction year-round residency sensitivity scenario. Rapid transformations are required across all sectors to be on pace to meet decarbonization targets. Climate-related financial losses to our region could be significant if we do not work to adapt to   and mitigate its impacts.  This report outlines strategies the region can take that help inform the broader Cape Cod Climate Action Plan.