Climate change could pose a whopping blow of as much as CAN$2.8 trillion ($2.18 trillion) to the Canadian economy by the year 2100, according to a report from the Institute of Sustainable Finance (ISF) released this month.
The claim is based on the temperature rising 2C and the detrimental effects that would have on "biodiversity, sea-level rise and infrastructure damage due to fires and floods," researchers concluded in the report, The Physical Costs of Climate Change, a Canadian Perspective.
But the price tag could be more if Canada remains on its current path, which would see the mercury rise 2C by 2100.
"The costs range from CAN$2.773-trillion (US$2.16 trillion) with 2°C warming by the end of the century, to almost double that amount at CAN$5.520-trillion (US$4.31 trillion) under a 5°C warming scenario," the report said. "Canada is highly susceptible to the impacts of climate change."
The prediction is based in 2020 dollars, and while the costs of climate change are staggering, about CAN$45.4 billion ($35.4 billion) could be trimmed by adopting measures now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That is besides the financial advantages that would accrue by achieving a low-carbon economy.
"Our research underscores that addressing climate change now more than pays for itself over the long term when we consider the costs of physical damage alone," ISF Chair Sean Cleary said in a news release.
In other words, just holding to the Paris Climate Change Agreement of limiting world temperatures to between 1.5C and 2C is not enough, since Canada is already warming at twice the pace of the global average, according to a Canadian government report released in April 2019.
The ISF is part of Queen's University, one of Canada's most respected post-secondary institutions.