That is how much money BC’s 2021 climate disasters may have cost – which would make it the most expensive climate disaster in Canadian history.
This is according to a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, who say what the province witnessed last year was a clear-cut example of the dangers of climate change.
“If ever there was a year that underscores the costs of climate change, 2021 was it,” said report lead author Marc Lee, a senior economist with the CCPA BC Office.
“The costs go way beyond insured losses, which are typically the focus in the aftermath of disasters like those we saw last year.”
The year saw a heat dome and wildfires blast the province in the summer, and mass flooding and landslides in the fall and winter.
The report also places the economic impact of these disasters on businesses between $1.5 and $2.6 billion.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said disasters like these disproportionally impact Indigenous communities.
“An overwhelming number of First Nations are not properly resourced to prepare for climate change disasters and adequately protect their communities, despite passage of the Declaration Act, which upholds self-determination,” Grand Chief Phillip says.
“This research underscores the dire importance of making our communities less vulnerable to climate change and making every effort to prevent warming in the first place. We must immediately stop any further expansion of fossil fuels and fracking of liquefied natural gas. There is no time to waste.“
That $17.1 billion dollar mark, if accurate, would account for 5% of BC’s GDP.
For the full report, click here.