There are many direct and indirect economic impacts of climate change. Read more on some of the major economic impacts below. Property and infrastructure damageResource instability and declineClimate-induced global conflict and security threatProjected risks due to climate impacts
Property and infrastructure damage
Global sea level rise and other extreme weather events, particularly in the world’s coastal regions, are having dramatic and growing costs on infrastructure. For example, extreme storms or floods require rebuilding or repairing essential infrastructure such as homes, roads and bridges.
Photo credit: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Resource instability and decline
A diverse set of resources are experiencing severe decline – and possible failure – from the combination of climate change and global demand pressures. Fish, for example – a key resource in many local economies around the globe – are often unable to adapt to survive increased water temperatures and have declined in number in recent years.
Resources at risk range from timber to crops to fish stocks, all important players in Canada’s local and domestic economies.
Climate-induced global conflict and security threat
Climate change-related extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, land degradation, storms, sea level rise and other changes in the environment are forcing people to leave their homes and lands. Climate change researchers predict that the magnitude of climate-induced migration will be highly significant. It will put pressure on natural resources, infrastructure and other services in receiving areas. Also, in some cases, climate-induced migration can destabilize economic growth, compromise the welfare of refugees and will increase ethnic and cultural differences between climate refugees and local population.
According to one estimate, a range of serious climate related pressures, including land degradation, droughts, floods and natural disasters will force nearly 200 million people to migrate by 2050.
Projected risks due to climate change impacts
Continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates will cause increasingly destructive changes to many ecosystems around the world during the 21st century.
Increase in temperature (°C) Impacts 1.5 to 2.5 Approximately 20 to 30% of plant and animal species are likely to be at increased risk of extinction >3.5 Model projections suggest significant extinctions (40 to 70% of species assessed) around the globe 1.5 to 2.5 Major changes in ecosystem structure and function, species’ ecological interactions and shifts in species’ geographical ranges, with predominantly negative consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services, e.g. water and food supply 2.5-3.0 Polar bears will face a high risk of extinction 2.9* Up to 76% of waterfowl and nearly 56% of shorebirds will decline 2-3 Numerous arctic lakes will dry out 1 to 2 At lower latitudes, especially in seasonally dry and tropical regions, crop productivity is projected to decrease which would increase the risk of hunger It is likely that up to 20% of the world population will live in areas where river flood potential could increase by the 2080s.