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New Report on Climate Change Impacts and Ontario's Transportation Infrastructure

The Financial Accountability Office of Ontario has released a report today that examines the costs of maintaining and adapting the roughly $330 billion worth of transportation infrastructure managed by Ontario's provincial and municipal governments in the face of projected changes in three climate hazards: extreme rainfall, extreme heat and freeze-thaw cycles. It finds that maintenance costs are substantial even in a stable climate, at $12.9 billion per year, and that as the climate changes, maintenance costs will increase due to climate impacts. It also finds that the cost of adapting infrastructure to climate hazards will cost less than not adapting over the long term. Under a medium emissions scenario, assuming no adaptation, changes in these three climate hazards are projected to increase infrastructure costs by an average of 17%, or $2.2 billion per year, which would amount to a total cost of $171 billion by 2100. Under a high emissions scenario, they are projected to increase costs by 32%, or 4.1 billion per year, adding up to $322 billion by 2100. In contrast, adapting public transportation infrastructure will add between 11% and 23%, or between $110 billion to $229 billion in total, to infrastructure costs, depending on the emissions scenario used.

Read the report, here.