Our process helps Canada achieve sustainable development solutions that integrate environmental and economic considerations to ensure the lasting prosperity and well-being of our nation.


We rigorously research and conduct high quality analysis on issues of sustainable development. Our thinking is original and thought provoking.


We convene opinion leaders and experts from across Canada around our table to share their knowledge and diverse perspectives. We stimulate debate and integrate polarities. We create a context for possibilities to emerge.


We generate ideas and provide realistic solutions to advise governments, Parliament and Canadians. We proceed with resolve and optimism to bring Canada’s economy and environment closer together.

Paying the Price – What did we find?

// Climate change is expensive: Our assessment demonstrated that the costs of climate change are high and will only grow. They are expected to escalate over time from an average of $5 billion per year in 2020 across all scenarios, to $21 billion per year in the low climate change–slow growth scenario, to $43 billion per year in the high climate change–high growth scenario by 2050.
// There is a risk that the costs could be far higher than we expect: By the 2050s we expect annual costs of $21 billion in the low climate change–slow growth scenario but there is a 5% chance that the costs could exceed $44 billion. Similarly, we expect annual costs of $43 billion in the high climate change–rapid growth scenario but there is a 5% chance that costs could exceed $91 billion. This wide range of possible costs within each scenario reflects existing uncertainties in climate change science and economics. But it also highlights the risks and costs of what could occur.
// Adaptation can save us money: Our assessment shows that climate change adaptation can save money by reducing the physical and economic impacts of climate change. Despite the investments required, our analysis demonstrated that in four of the five adaptation strategies considered for timber supply, coastal regions, and human health, adaptation saves money and these actions appear to be cost-effective.
// Global mitigation reduces Canadian economic impacts and makes adaptation cheaper: Our modelling shows that in a low climate change future, the costs of the impacts of climate change and the costs of adaptation are less than they would be in a high climate change future. Taking Toronto as an example, our health chapter showed, that, in present value terms, a low climate change scenario and the resulting air quality related illnesses could add $72 million in costs to the health care system between now and the end of the century. A high climate change scenario could add $285 million in costs to the health care system. Similarly, adapting by reducing ozone-forming emissions in Toronto is less expensive in the low climate change scenario since fewer air pollution reductions would be needed to return air quality to its original levels. In present value terms, the costs of air pollution control from 2050 to 2059 are estimated at $0.7 billion in the low climate change scenario and $3.1 billion in the high climate change scenario. Reducing economic impacts in Canada requires reducing global emissions around the world
while implementing sensible adaptation strategies here at home.
// The costs of climate change impacts and adaptation are uneven across the country: The costs will be unequally distributed across regions and groups. Some coastal areas will face far greater costs than others: the per capita costs of dwellings damage in New Brunswick from climate and non-climate related factors are estimated at $730 to $1,803 by the 2050s, higher than the national average. Regional economies with larger forest industries or larger reliance on the forest industry will be more adversely affected: GDP in British Columbia could fall by 0.2% to 0.4% by the 2050s due to changes induced by climate change to the timber supply compared to average national GDP reductions of 0.1% to 0.3%. The four cities we considered in our health analysis will be affected by climate change differently: cities that experience greater amounts of warming could see more adverse impacts. The unequal distribution of costs and impacts reinforces the need to consider local, sectoral, provincial, and regional adaptation plans and efforts to cope with climate change.