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NEWS: Climate change will claim lives, cost billions in Canada

CBC reports, “Climate change could cost Canada billions a year as early as 2020, depending on how severe it is and how well the country adapts, says a report released Thursday morning. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy looked at the cost of climate change on Canada’s prosperity, public health and in coastal areas affected by weather events.”

Among the findings:

1 – “The government-funded think-tank estimates the cost of climate change for Canada could start at roughly $5 billion per year in 2020 and increase to between $21 billion and $43 billion per year by 2050. …It found there was a small chance the cost could go as high as $91 billion per year by 2050 given fast growth and a great deal of change in the climate, or sit at $21 billion a year given low climate change and slow growth.”

2 – “It also found that climate change could result in additional deaths from heat and air pollution. Looking at Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal, the report projects three to six deaths per 100,000 people per year in the 2020s, with impacts worsening in future decades.” (Pablo Solon has made the argument that – given that 300,000 people die annually from climate change-related causes and that this number may increase to a million people a year – an ecocide and genocide is happening.)

3 – The report says, “Global mitigation leading to a low climate change future reduces costs to Canada in the long term. This reinforces the argument that Canada would benefit environmentally and economically from a post-2012 international climate arrangement that systematically reduced emissions from all emitters — including Canada — over time.”

The Council of Canadians is working hard to counter the dire future predicted in the National Round Table report. Among our climate-related initiatives, we are:

1 – promoting the call for climate justice and real solutions to the climate crisis through our systemchange.ca project, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10690.

2 – pressuring the Harper government to take action on climate change at the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen and Cancun, and intervene again at the upcoming talks in Durban this December, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=4927.

3 – demanding that the Harper government take action to reduce the carbon emissions from the tar sands, notably at a major demonstration on Parliament Hill this past Monday, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10733.

4 – supporting C-224, the new climate legislation introduced late this summer, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9498.

5 – holding creative actions to send the ‘leave it in the ground’ message with respect to fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=6818.

6 – calling for a ‘green, decent and public’ renewable energy future for Canada, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=2117.

7 – highlighting that climate justice means water justice, and that continued climate change worsens our growing water crisis, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=4787.

8 – opposing the Harper government’s lobbying to weaken the European Union’s Fuel Quality Directive, which is intended to reduce Europe’s carbon emissions, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10590.

9 – emphasizing that transportation emissions are about a third of overall emissions (more like half when you consider the full carbon footprint) and bringing that analysis to our work against the South Fraser Perimeter highway, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=6598.

10 – taking our opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline – which would facilitate an even greater expansion of the tar sands – to Washington where a permit is needed to allow it to proceed, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10223, and we will likely be in Washington again on November 6 when a major action is planned to encircle the White House, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10798.

11 – showing that Canadians want real action on climate change, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=4678.

12 – opposing projects that would significantly contribute to Canada’s emissions, such as the Raven coal mine, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10089, Maxim coal, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10369, and other projects.

To read more about our climate campaign, go to http://canadians.org/climatejustice and http://canadians.org/climatejustice/local.