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Parliamentary budget officer says climate change already costing economy billions

The parliamentary budget officer says climate change is already hurting the Canadian economy.
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Buildings sit in the water along the shore following hurricane Fiona in Rose Blanche-Harbour Le Cou, N.L. on Tuesday September 27, 2022. The parliamentary budget watchdog says climate change has already begun to hurt the Canadian economy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The parliamentary budget officer says climate change is already hurting the Canadian economy.

A new analysis released today shows that in 2021, Canada’s GDP was 0.8 per cent lower than what it could have been without climate change, which amounts to $20 to $25 billion less in economic activity.

That is linked to issues such as lower agricultural outputs, higher energy use, property damage and productivity limitations from extreme heat or forced industrial closures due to weather.

And even if every climate action policy announced around the world is fully implemented, the PBO says the impact on the national economy is expected to grow to 5.6 per cent by the end of the century.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault is in Egypt this week for the annual United Nations climate conference, and he says the world has only a few years left to keep the planet livable.

The COP 27 meeting is being touted as the “implementation COP,” which is aiming to move the world’s governments from promises to real action.

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