What the new IPCC report says climate change could — and is — costing Canadians

Author

Nicole Mortillaro

Source(s)
CBC/Radio-Canada

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It's no big surprise following the tragic fires that ravaged B.C. last summer that the new report says wildfires are the top climate change risk facing Canada, causing a heavy financial strain. The 2016 wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., caused $3 billion in insured damages alone. And in 2017, fire suppression cost the province $500 million.

What's worse is that the report suggests that places that only experience fire every 400 years will experience them as often as once every 50 years.

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The report further states that fires, combined with pests and other factors, could result in the loss of $459 billion in forestry by 2080, with the biggest losses in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.

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Under a forecasted scenario with stringent emissions cuts, known as RCP2.6, the annual fire suppression cost could rise to $1 billion by the end of the century, which would be a 60 per cent increase relative to 1980–2009. In a worst-case scenario, called RCP8.5, that cost could rise to $1.9 billion, which would be a 119 per cent increase. 

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