Net-Zero Trajectory Exceeds Targets
While Canada’s 2050 net zero target aligns with a 2°C+ scenario, FTSE Russell’s ‘COP27 Net Zero Atlas’ estimate its latest 2030 NDC32 and current policies align with a 3°C+ trajectory and 4°C+ trajectory respectively. It says while Canada is one of the coldest countries on Earth, it is now warming twice as fast as the G20 average. Although the country will face milder winter conditions in the future, the economic impacts of climate change could be costly and disruptive. Warmer temperatures will lead to shorter ice seasons with thawing permafrost representing an increasing risk to infrastructure, including ice roads that are important winter transport routes in the northern parts of the country. Glacial cover is also projected to decrease, diminishing freshwater availability and impacting hydropower production, which currently accounts for almost 60 per cent of Canada’s electricity generation. More extreme precipitation events are expected with rising temperatures, as snowfall more readily transforms to rain, with damages from inland flooding alone over the past 10 years being estimated at more than US$7 billion. These extreme events are expected to be more frequent, more widespread, and more harmful in nature, especially in coastal areas exposed to rising sea levels and storm surges.