In 2 Years, Climate Change could Cost Canada $25 Billion Annually, Report Says

Date: Friday, June 9, 2023
Complete Interview: CBC News Power and Politics Episode

A recent CBC interview with Dave Sawyer, Principal Economist at the Canadian Climate Institute, noted that climate change will cost Canada at least $25 billion annually starting as early as 2025 – two years from now. Divided equally amongst all of Canada’s 38.7M population, that would be $650 per person per year.


The costs of climate-related weather disasters include the cost of:

  • putting out the fires
  • keeping families safe
  • rebuilding homes and communities
  • health care costs from thick smoke

By 2025, the impacts on GDP could reach $25 billion annually. Impacts include businesses being closed, productivity slowdowns, transportation challenges and people not being able to work. These impacts will hit the most vulnerable Canadians most; for example, some can’t afford HEPA filters and masks for dealing with wildfire smoke.

Dave Sawyer, Principal Economist at the Canadian Climate Institute, shares:

“It [used to be] a problem down the road. Another generation’s problem. Someone else’s problem. It’s hitting home now. So I think it’s changing views.”

“We have good data going back to the 70s on the number of these extreme [weather] events, including wildfires, floods, storms, ice storms. And the numbers have gone through the roof in the last decade. We’re having billion dollar events every year now, at the very least. We used to get those one every 10 years.”

Interviewer: You’ve done the modelling on this too, right, that for every dollar spent on prevention, it’s like a $14 or $15 multiplier.

Sawyer: For every dollar you spend, you have direct impact. So if, in your house, you spend a dollar on prevention to reduce a flood, you’re going to save five bucks, give or take. If you can avoid those costs [of flooding], that multiplies through the economy. Prevention pays in a big way.

Watch Whole Interview: CBC News, Power and Politics

Scroll to Top