Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 2:30 PM

​Climate Change and the Economy

Sustainability Icon
We know that climate change has environmental and social risks, but did you know that there are also financial risks that need to be addressed to ensure the stability of our economy?

The World Economic Forum, Financial Stability Board, The Bank of Canada, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada have highlighted the risk of not addressing climate change and the benefits of acting sooner rather than later. More specifically, The Bank of Canada has identified how climate change has implications for our economy and that acting earlier reduces the overall transitional and physical risk to businesses and the public.

In the latest research, the global economic impacts from climate change by 2100 is estimated to be close to $600 trillion if we meet existing global greenhouse gas reduction commitments, and over $800 trillion if we don’t. This would be roughly equivalent to 1.8 times COVID-like global economic contractions each year for the next 80 years.  

Image: source

On September 30, City Council approved investment in Community Energy Transition Model to inform the economic perspectives of the Resilient St. John’s Climate Plan.

What is a Community Energy Transition Model, and What Will it do for Us?

CET Models are economic analysis tools that offer up a present and future picture of how converting to a low-carbon community would impact our economy.

These are powerful tools used by municipalities across Canada to support them through the energy transition, by ensuring decision makers have an understanding of the best potential timing of interventions, as well as the economic and job creation opportunities in their specific community. 

Here’s how this model will help inform Council’s decision-making:

  • The economics to determine the best strategies to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from communities.
  • Land use impacts on emissions to determine which type of policies need to be considered to achieve GHG emission reduction targets. 
  • The direct and indirect quantity of GHGs reduced (e.g., active or public transportation’s impact on household costs) from each planned action/strategy. 
  • Estimating number of jobs projected to be created by a GHG emission reduction actions/strategies. 
  • Impact of policies and actions on household energy bills (stationary and transportation energy costs). 

One of the goals of our Multi-Stakeholder Sustainability Team is to prepare a Resilient St. John’s Climate by summer 2021. We plan to offer a “net-zero” by 2050 scenario, and this new model will assist us in that effort as well as much more as the plan develops.

Join the conversation:

  • Share how climate change has impacted. Visit our engagement page to add your thoughts and ideas to the ongoing planning.
  • Sign up to lead a community workshop with your group through the DIY Guide and Tool Train-the-Trainer sessions offered virtually, October 28 and 29.
  • Take part in our community session on November 19; learn about climate change and climate change action and provide your personal experiences, perceptions and ideas to the planning process.