Cost of Climate Change Impacts on Ontario’s Public Buildings and Other Infrastructure
In June 2019, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) was asked to analyze the long-term costs that climate change impacts could impose on Ontario’s provincial and municipal infrastructure and the potential budgetary implications. In response to this request, the FAO launched its Costing Climate Change Impacts to Public Infrastructure project (CIPI). The FAO has released two of three reports in a project that assesses the financial impacts of climate change on Ontario’s public infrastructure.
In the first two phases of the Costing Climate Change Impacts to Public Infrastructure project (CIPI), the FAO estimated the state of repair of Ontario’s provincial and municipal infrastructure assets. The first report is a backgrounder that outlines the context and methodology, describes the climate hazards included in the project, and discusses the projections of these hazards to public infrastructure.
The second report projects the impacts of changes in extreme rainfall, extreme heat and freeze-thaw cycles on the costs of maintaining public buildings in a state of good repair, and the implications for provincial and municipal infrastructure budgets. The second report interestingly found that extreme rainfall and extreme heat are projected to become more frequent and intense, while shorter winters will somewhat lower the annual number of freeze-thaw cycles. This report noted that the accelerated deterioration of air conditioning equipment used more frequently in warmer conditions is a chronic impact.
Additionally, FAO found that when considering the impacts of extreme rainfall, extreme heat and freeze-thaw cycles together, the FAO estimates these hazards will add roughly $6 billion to the costs of maintaining public buildings and facilities in a state of good repair over the remainder of this decade.
The purpose of the final phase of the CIPI project is to provide broad estimates of the long-term budgetary costs that certain climate change hazards could impose on the province and municipalities through accelerated infrastructure deterioration and increased operating expenses.
A report by WSP Global has also been published on the FAO website. The FAO worked with WSP to establish how changes in climate indicators would affect key infrastructure costs.
For more information, contact Chelsea Goberdhan at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 236, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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