Pollution is costing Canadians tens of billions of dollars every year according to a new report released by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).
The report, titled The Costs of Pollution in Canada: Measuring the impacts on families, businesses and governments, is based on a systematic review of published Canadian and international studies.
It found that pollution of all types is costing Canadians at least $39 billion in 2015 in terms of lost health and well-being.
“This report demonstrates that the costs of pollution amount to tens of billions of dollars a year. These costs are real and will be borne by Canadian families, businesses and governments into the future unless we take action to minimize pollution,” said report author Robert Smith in a release.
- Canada to host 2018 G7 Summit at Quebec resort
- Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup planning 150 cleanups for World Environment Day
The impact of pollution on households, businesses, and governments cost billions of dollars more. Cleaning up contaminated sites cost the federal government over $300 million in 2015.
Pollution is also causing a significant loss in the value of Canada’s assets, including houses, buildings, infrastructure, and the natural environment.
For example, Lake Erie’s value for tourism, commercial fishing, and water supply fell by $4 billion due to phosphorus pollution. The value of homes near the lake’s shoreline has dropped in value by over $700 million.
“This report demonstrates that the costs of pollution amount to tens of billions of dollars a year. These costs are real and will be borne by Canadian families, businesses and governments into the future unless we take action to minimize pollution,” said Scott Vaughan, CEO of IISD, in a statement.
“Having strong data to demonstrate the costs is key to reducing them. The impacts of pollution are too great to allow poor data to stop us from taking action.”