October 3, 2011
Global Warming Costs For Canada Looking Grim
In the first of its kind analysis of Canadian trends in the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, population and the economy, in the context of climate change science, a troubling report is causing the Canadian government to sit up and take serious notice of climate trends, reports Montreal´s The Gazette.
Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent says his government is not surprised that its own advisory panel on business and environmental issues is warning that greenhouse gas emissions poses serious issues.The report “Paying the Price: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change for Canada” by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy estimates that warming-related costs may rise to $5 billion per year by 2020, and between $21 and $43 billion per year by 2050, AFP is reporting.
Consequences could include major flooding in coastal cities, dramatic changes in the forestry industry and serious effects on human health. “Ignoring climate change costs now will cost us more later,” said the report.
Arctic regions such as Nunavut (which are experiencing the most dramatic rise in temperatures) face the highest per capita costs of dwelling damage due to flooding, the report highlighted, with flooding costs nationwide expected top eight billion dollars per year by 2050.
Large cities such as Toronto and Vancouver should expect longer and hotter heat spells during summer and worsening air quality over the coming years, which could lead to an increase in cardiovascular and respiratory issues.
Kent told the House of Commons that the government was already committed to reducing greenhouse gases in Canada roughly to 1990 levels within the next 10 to 15 years, as well as $58 million in funding over two years, announced in the 2011 budget, to help Canadians adapt to climate change.
“Today´s report merely echoes what our government has long recognized,” Kent said in response to questions from Laurin Liu of the official opposition New Democrats, “And that is the importance of adaptation to climate change.”
The panel established several measures to limit damage from climate change. These include, enhancing forest fire prevention, controlling pests, and the planting of climate-resilient tree species.
The panel also would like to see prohibitions of new construction in areas at risk of flooding in coastal areas and the installation of pollution control technologies to limit ozone formation, Reuters reports.
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