The Effects of Weather on Massachusetts Municipal Expenditures: Implications of Climate Change for Local Governments in New England

A new report by the New England Public Policy Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston estimates that if global emissions continue to grow at their current rates, resulting in significantly higher temperatures in Massachusetts, per capita annual municipal expenditures will increase 30 percent for the 2090–2099 decade relative to average per capita annual municipal expenditures for the 1990–2019 period.

This report recommends that municipalities account for climate change in their long-term municipal financial planning, since early policy actions are often more cost effective than later ones. Investing in improvements to the climate resilience of public infrastructure is important, and it is particularly urgent for New England, given how dated the region’s infrastructure systems are.