The Canadian economy already affected by climate change, households


OTTAWA, Sept. 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A report released today by the Canadian Climate Institute shows that the growing costs of an unstable climate are already weighing on the Canadian economy, with those costs rising rapidly over the coming years. The Report—Damage Control: Reducing the Costs of Climate Impacts in Canadaexamines the macroeconomic costs of climate change, assessing them under low and high emissions scenarios against a stable climate scenario. Analysis shows climate impacts will cost Canada billions, making life increasingly unaffordable for households as economic growth slows, governments raise taxes to pay for climate disasters, loss of jobs increase and goods become more expensive due to disrupted supply chains.

The report, which is the culmination of a series of five reports and the most comprehensive macroeconomic analysis of climate change in Canada to date, also presents solutions. Proactive adaptation measures and policies can limit the damage caused by climate change, halve projected costs, save billions of dollars and make life more affordable for households. According to the report, a dollar invested in proactive adaptation measures can yield between 13 and 15 dollars in direct and indirect benefits. And if adaptation measures are combined with global emission reductions, future costs could be cut by three-quarters, putting Canada on the path to a more stable and affordable future.

Main results of Limit the damage:

  • Climate-induced damage is already here and it‘re adding. By 2025, climate impacts will slow Canada’s economic growth by $25 billion per year, equivalent to 50% of projected GDP growth.
  • All households will lose income, and low-income households will suffer the most. Low-income households could suffer income losses of 12% in a low-emissions scenario and 23% in a high-emissions scenario by the end of the century.
  • Climate change is a job killer. Job losses could double by mid-century and reach 2.9 million by the end of the century.
  • Adaptation pays off. Every dollar spent on adaptation measures saves 13 to 15 dollars, including direct and indirect benefits for the whole economy.
  • Limiting additional reheating, while accommodating reheating already cooked, pays off more. Taking proactive adaptation actions cuts climate-related costs in half, and if combined with global mitigation actions, costs are cut by three-quarters.


“The conclusions couldn’t be clearer: Canada is directly in the crosshairs of climate change. The economy is very sensitive to this threat, and we are already paying the price: by 2025, the damage will have halved Canada’s growth rate. We must consider these huge costs and do everything we can to limit the damage.
—Dave Sawyer, Senior Economist, Canadian Climate Institute

“The cost of inaction on climate change is measurable and growing. We must put adaptation and mitigation measures in place now to avoid serious damage to our economy, our society, our health and our well-being.
—Rick Smith, President, Canadian Climate Institute

“The economic consequences of climate change are only beginning to emerge, and this report provides thoughtful information on how climate change could impact the Canadian economy. The threat is real, but fortunately there is a lot to be done to limit the damage. Investing in adaptation and resilience today will help protect Canada’s economy and could save lives. Taking proactive adaptation measures can reduce the costs of climate change impacts and provide a strong return on investment, saving money in the long term while paving the way to a more sustainable and prosperous future for Canadians.
—Susan McGeachie, Head of BMO Climate Institute, BMO Financial Group


Join the Canadian Climate Institute for a webinar on September 29 at 1 p.m. ET focused on how we can contain the economic damage of climate impacts. Register now for Damage Control: How Adaptation Policy Can Help Canada Prepare for the Economic Cost of Climate Change.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


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