QUEEN’S PARK – Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to the new report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario on the cost of climate change impacts on the province’s storm and wastewater infrastructure.
“As the costs of global heating continue to rise, the Premier’s stubborn refusal to act on the worsening climate crisis is setting Ontario up for financial disaster.
Climate impacts are already costing Ontarians billions annually, even as the government ramps up fossil gas generation, pushes ahead with destructive highway projects and opens the Greenbelt to development.
The new FAO report documents yet another massive bill coming due as extreme weather events increase in frequency and severity. It shows that more extreme rainfall will increase the cost of maintaining storm and wastewater infrastructure by $6.2 billion by 2030.
The FAO has previously calculated that climate-related costs to maintain transportation infrastructure will total $14 billion by 2030. Maintaining public buildings will add another $6 billion to the climate bill this decade.
The inaction on climate will cost us an extra $26.2 billion this decade for damage to storm and wastewater infrastructure, transportation and buildings alone.
I asked the FAO to prepare these reports on the financial impact of the climate crisis on public infrastructure because the people of Ontario deserve to know what lies ahead if the government continues to ignore the climate emergency.
The government’s abject failure to take meaningful action to address or adapt to the climate crisis is already costing billions and will impose a huge financial burden on people today and for future generations.
I am calling on the government to:
- Implement a real climate plan to reduce carbon pollution by half this decade;
- Create a dedicated adaptation fund to make Ontario’s public infrastructure climate ready;
- Cancel expensive Greenbelt highways like 413 and the Bradford Bypass that increase climate risks and climate pollution and reverse course on their sprawl agenda, which will increase financial and climate risks.