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 – News Release – Prairies and Canada’s North


Climate Change Could Have Significant Economic Impacts on Prairies and Canada’s North

Ottawa – September 29 2011 – The Prairie provinces and Canada’s North could be greatly affected by climate change, according to a new report published today by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRT).
Paying the Price: the Economic Impacts of Climate Change for Canada is the first national study to demonstrate that the impacts of climate change could result in billions of
dollars in economic costs for Canada.

Northern coastal communities already face flooding risks, but climate change will add new risks from sea-level rise and storm surges. By the 2050s, roughly 1% of Nunavut’s
land area could be at risk of flooding due to existing risks and climate change – the highest percentage of any province or territory. Whereas the per capita costs of flooding damages to dwellings are estimated at $108-$364 a year nationally, the per capita costs of dwellings damages in Nunavut could be much higher – between $1,790 and $5,698 by mid-century.

Residents in some of Canada’s largest cities – including Calgary – will face an increased risk of illness and death due to warmer summertime temperatures and worsened air quality.  The report estimates that deaths from climate change could represent about 1% of all deaths in Calgary by mid-century, with annual costs of premature death risks estimated at between $400 million to $700 million. The NRT also found that rates of illness could increase, particularly for those with respiratory problems such as asthma, for people working outdoors, and for the elderly and infants. In economic terms, these impacts will translate into $1 million to $2 million dollars in annual costs to Calgary’s health care system by mid-century.

Although Canada contributes approximately 1.5% of global emissions, the report concludes that climate change impacts brought about by increased world-wide emissions have a real and growing economic cost to Canada.

Based on NRT original economic modelling, the report finds that the economic impact on Canada could reach: 

  • 2020: $5 billion per year
  • 2050: Between $21 and $43 billion per year

The report also estimates a five per cent chance that costs could escalate to $9 billion in 2050 if Canada’s population and economic growth is rapid and global climate change is high.  

Because climate change impacts will manifest themselves sectorally and regionally in different ways across the country, the NRT also focused on the economic impacts and
cost-effectiveness of adaptation strategies for three representative areas:  timber supply, coastal areas and human health.  

About the Round Table

Through the development of innovative policy research and considered advice, the NRT’s mission is to help Canada achieve sustainable development solutions that integrate environmental and economic considerations to ensure the lasting prosperity and well-being of our nation.  The NRT is the only national organization with a direct mandate from
Parliament to engage Canadians in the generation and promotion of sustainable development advice.

The report is available on the Round Table’s website:



Marie-Josée Lapointe
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy
613.943.2054 / 613.617.4436