“As climate change accelerates, no individual, province or sector will be immune. Now more than ever, we cannot afford to ignore massive future costs—especially those that we have the power to manage.” – Kathy Bardswick, President, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices
A News Release from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, with a Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted December 6th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
A Foreword by Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –
Almost every time public debate turns to what we need to do now – collectively as regions, provinces, states and countries – to address a climate crisis that is already doing major damage to our natural resources and to properties and communities, we get extreme right-wing politicians like Doug Ford in Ontario, Jason Kenney in Alberta and Donald Trump in the United States arguing that taking the real action that is needed and moving toward a green economy is going to cost too much.
In Ontario, we have witnessed Premier Doug Ford and the anti-environmental protection ideologues that make up his Trump-like party, spend tens of millions of our tax dollars fighting Canada’s federal government’s efforts to, at the very least, put a modest price on climate-ravaging carbon pollution.
Indeed, Ford and the climate laggards in a government that has no business branding itself “Progressive Conservative,” recently lost a court case around their bullying campaign to force gas stations to place an anti-carbon pricing sticker on its pumps – a Trump-like stunt that cost Ontario taxpayers millions of dollars that could have been spent fighting climate change.
What ideologues like Ford and Kenney and Trump will never acknowledge or talk to the public about is the cost of doing little or nothing about addressing this climate crisis – costs that including billions of dollars of property damage, soaring insurance premiums, and so much more.
Their bogus calculators – calibrated only to serve the short-term interests of the worst members of the business, development and farming communities – do not take into account the ever greater costs that failure to address the climate emergency mean for the rest of us and our communities, not to mention our children and grandchildren.
That is why the following report, released just days ago by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, is so important. It begins to tell us the story Ford, Kenney, Trump and others refuse to tell us, about the much greater costs we face if we do little or nothing.
It is a report that teachers should discuss with their students in schools, and we need far more reports like it to counter the false claims of the Fords and the Kenneys and the Trumps of this world that implementing real plans for a post-pandemic, green future will cost too much money.
Now Here Is A News Release from the Canadian Institute for Climate Change, and a link to their important report –
New research suggests current climate-related damages will be the tip of the iceberg unless Canada acts on risk disclosure and invests in climate resilience
A new report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices warns that the costs of climate change for Canada are massive and mounting, and recommends substantial increases in adaptation investment and enhanced climate risk disclosure to build resilience and limit damages.
In light of the federal government’s fall economic statement, the need to plan for and limit foreseeable and manageable future costs is even more clear.
The Institute’s comprehensive analysis of historical trends found that weather-related disasters like floods, storms and wildfires are getting more frequent, more extreme and more expensive—already adding up to billions of dollars each year. Since 2010, the costs of weather-related disasters and catastrophic events have amounted to about 5 to 6 per cent of Canada’s annual GDP growth, up from an average of 1 per cent in previous decades.
However, the report, Tip of the Iceberg: Navigating the Known and Unknown Costs of Climate Change for Canada, also reveals that only a fraction of climate change-related costs can be accurately quantified today, and that unknown costs may far exceed those that are understood. While reducing emissions in line with Canada’s climate targets remains critical to limit future damages, it won’t be enough to shield Canadians from the costs—known and unknown—of climate impacts already in motion.
Addressing and preparing for the impacts of a changing climate and building Canada’s resilience through climate change adaptation could help keep many of these costs in check.
The report recommends governments and financial regulators systematically increase public and private-sector disclosure and transparency about the risks of a changing climate in decision making, to drive resilient investments and adaptation solutions.
The Institute also recommends significantly increasing public funding for adaptation measures that improve resilience, and co-ordinating climate change adaptation efforts across provincial, territorial, Indigenous and municipal governments to scale up adaptation.
Without such measures, the report finds, catastrophic losses from weather-related disasters could rise unsustainably. Insured losses for catastrophic weather events totalled over $18 billion between 2010 and 2019, and the number of catastrophic events was over three times higher than in the 1980s. Meanwhile, the average cost per disaster has jumped 1250 per cent since the 1970s; a typical storm or flood that cost roughly $8 million in the early 1970’s now costs over $110 million.
The report finds damages from more drawn-out climate change impacts, such as sea-level rise and permafrost thaw, could also increase substantially. For example, permafrost thaw in the Northwest Territories’ 33 communities is estimated to rack up $1.3 billion in costs over the next 75 years, equivalent to about 25 per cent of current territorial GDP.
Further, without adaptation, accelerating climate change will increasingly impact health, ecosystems and Indigenous rights, lands and practices in ways that are harder to quantify in economic terms, yet remain highly consequential.
“One lesson Canada must learn from the global pandemic is that we need to get much better at foreseeing and acting on risk. As climate change accelerates, no individual, province or sector will be immune. Now more than ever, we cannot afford to ignore massive future costs—especially those that we have the power to manage. We can limit our risk exposure and make better decisions by investing in resilience and mandating climate risk disclosure.”
– Kathy Bardswick, President, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices
“Canada has largely left the potential of climate change adaptation untapped. Not only are we more exposed to risk than necessary, we’re also missing out on significant returns that come from investing in resilience. We have the opportunity to proactively reduce some of our most critical climate-related risks—from urban flooding, to crop-killing droughts, to deadly heatwaves. Analysis shows that investing in well-designed climate adaptation measures before disasters strike can provide impressive returns by preventing damages and avoiding social and economic disruption.”
– Dave Sawyer, Principal Economist and lead report author, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices
- Since 2010, the costs of weather-related disasters and catastrophic events have amounted to about 5 to 6 per cent of Canada’s annual GDP growth, up from an average of 1 per cent in previous decades.
- Insured losses for weather-related disasters in Canada totalled over $18 billion in the past decade, doubling the total of the previous three decades.
- Since 2010, the average cost per weather-related disasters totalled $112 million, up from $8.3 million in the 1970s—a staggering 1250 per cent jump.
- The Fort McMurray wildfires were the single most costly weather event in Canadian history, racking up almost $11 billion in terms of property and infrastructure damage, and losses from business disruption. The resulting hit to the economy was equivalent to 3.5 per cent of Alberta’s GDP or about 1.5 years of lost provincial economic growth.
- 1.8 million households are estimated to be at high risk of flooding—10 per cent of all households nation-wide.
To visit the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices’ web page and to read the report, here are the links –
WEB PAGE |
Who We Are –
The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices is an unparalleled collaboration of experts from a diverse range of disciplines and organizations across the country.
We undertake rigorous and independent research, insightful analysis and broad engagement to bring clarity to the climate challenges and transformative policy choices ahead for Canada.
For more, click on – https://climatechoices.ca/ .
To read a recent Globe and Mail story on this report, click on – https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/economy/article-climate-change-costs-taking-increasing-chunk-off-canadas-economic/ .
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