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The Cape Cod Commission approves the region’s first-ever climate action plan

For Immediate Release (July 23, 2021) — The Cape Cod Commission approved the region’s first-ever climate action plan during its July 22, 2021 meeting. 

The Cape Cod Climate Action Plan sets actionable goals for Cape Cod, within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts framework. It is intended to foster collaborative, targeted action to address climate change in measurable ways. The plan identifies strategies and actions the region can take to mitigate the Cape’s contributions to climate change and adapt to its impacts.   

Input gathered from a wide range of stakeholders in an extensive and collaborative region-wide engagement and outreach effort informed the plan, along with a regional greenhouse gas emissions inventory, an economic and fiscal impact analysis, and a legal and jurisdictional analysis. The final plan incorporates feedback from hundreds of stakeholders across the region.

The plan targets the region’s highest emitting sectors, transportation and energy, as identified in the greenhouse gas emissions inventory, and includes strategies that apply more broadly to support successful implementation. Strategies outlined will require action across all sectors and actors, including all levels of government, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and others.

“The Commission was challenged to provide a meaningful plan for our region to address both the causes and effects of climate change,” Executive Director Kristy Senatori said. “The plan approved meets that challenge, offering multiple paths forward to address the effects already felt and reduce those yet to come.” 

Priority strategies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions include reducing energy consumption and striving towards net zero energy buildings; promoting efficient land-use policies and development patterns; generating and increasing the use of safe, reliable, and clean energy; reducing vehicle miles traveled and supporting low and no carbon transportation options; accelerating the electrification of the transportation system; and reducing emissions by increasing and enhancing natural carbon storage.    

Priority strategies for adapting to the impacts of climate change include addressing vulnerabilities in public infrastructure and the road network; identifying approaches for managing development in coastal resource areas; and addressing vulnerable buildings and structures through retrofits and relocation.   

Measuring progress towards meeting the goals of the Climate Action Plan will require both long-term tracking of regional performance measures and shorter-term tracking of the implementation of specific strategies and actions. Updates to the regional greenhouse gas emission inventory, tracking of regional performance measures, and communication of regional progress will be key in ensuring effective implementation.  

The Climate Action plan calls on all sectors of our community to work together to reduce risk, make communities more resilient, and shift behavior to reduce the region’s contributions to the causes of climate change.   

View the Cape Cod Climate Action Plan: