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Climate change investments will now save money in the future, report says – National


Spending money now to avoid the worst effects of climate change later will literally pay for itself, according to a new analysis.

“Investing now can pay off later,” said Sean Cleary, director of the Institute for Sustainable Development at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. “The investment is less than the cost.”

Some analysis already exists on the costs that climate change could impose, Cleary said.

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But much of this work is about costs that affect businesses, such as retraining workers. And few of them deal specifically with Canada.

Cleary and his colleagues set out to fill that gap, focusing on the physical costs of climate change, from damage to infrastructure such as roads and buildings to less easily quantifiable effects like reduced biodiversity.

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Using an advanced modeling program, the team found that even if warming is kept to two degrees Celsius, Canada would face an annual climate change bill of more than $15 billion. by 2030.


Climate change investments will now save money in the future, report says – National







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At three degrees of warming — the path most of the world is taking — the tab hits over $18 billion.

By 2050, a two-degree warming is expected to cost $21 billion a year, and the costs will rise more steeply thereafter.

Cleary predicts that the cumulative costs of climate change for Canada at the turn of the century will be nearly $2.8 trillion.

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The study points out that previous research from the institute concluded that Canada could avoid the worst effects of climate change by spending about $12.8 billion a year.

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In previous research, the institute has recommended investments in building renovations, transportation, and the decarbonization of power generation.

“The numbers show that it makes sense to make investments just to mitigate those costs,” Cleary said.

Cleary likens spending on climate change to a savings account that would provide long-term benefits.

“If we don’t make those investments, we’re going to have a lot of other costs.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press




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