As the world takes stock of how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the most vulnerable, a new report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices warns that climate change will similarly worsen health inequities and significantly increase costs to Canada’s health system and economy without bold government action. The researchers project the health costs of climate change in Canada to be over $250 billion by 2100.
Canada remains the largest per capita public financer of fossil fuels, exemplified by the purchase of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline. Additionally, Canada is criminalizing land defenders who oppose new pipelines and old growth logging, both of which increase climate impacts. Meanwhile, Bill C-12 – the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act – is bogged down in debate in the Canadian Parliament.
If other nations followed Canada’s lead we would miss stabilizing temperatures at 1.5 degrees of temperature rise, devastating millions of people, species and entire countries. Unless all the governments take bold action by investing in prevention and preparation, climate change will worsen existing health inequities and increase costs to Canada’s health system and economy.