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Project

Measuring the Costs of Pollution in Canada

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Pollution has consequences for individuals, society at large and the economy. Damages lead to higher costs for many things, including: medical care, raw materials, food and taxes.

As such, pollution threatens not only Canadians' current well-being, but also the prospects for sustaining that well-being into the future. Canadians do not, however, have an adequate understanding of the cost of pollution. While many studies have attempted to assess the individual costs of specific pollutants, no single report covers them all. What is more, no common framework exists to effectively communicate the costs of pollution to experts and non-experts alike.

IISD is currently preparing a cost-of-pollution study. To the fullest extent possible, IISD will study the economic costs of pollution using existing estimates drawn from the scientific literature and other reliable sources, building upon a preliminary study undertaken for Sustainable Prosperity. IISD will also highlight gaps in existing data on pollution costs and use them to define a list of pollution-data collection priorities for Canada. Such a list could ultimately serve as a guide for governments and research institutions, whose role it is to collect basic data on pollution and its costs. Further, IISD's cost-of-pollution study will serve as a platform for engaging the public in an informed debate about the cost of pollution and quickly communicate important messages.

  • Video
    Cost of Pollution: Extreme Weather

    Cost of Pollution: Extreme Weather

    Did you know that the cost of climate change-related heat waves in Canada is estimated to have been $1.6 billion in 2015? Read More
  • Video
    Cost of Pollution: Contaminated Sites

    Cost of Pollution: Contaminated Sites

    Did you know that average annual cost of managing contaminated sites under federal jurisdiction in Canada was $283 million between 2005/06 and 2014/15? Read More
  • Video
    Cost of Pollution: Persistent Organic Pollutants

    Cost of Pollution: Persistent Organic Pollutants

    Did you know that the cost of persistent organic pollutants to Canada is estimated to be in the billions, but we still don't know for sure? Read More
  • Video
    Cost of Pollution: Smog

    Cost of Pollution: Smog

    Did you know that smog cost Canada $36 billion in 2015? Read More
  • Report
    Costs of Pollution in Canada: Measuring the impacts on families, businesses and governments

    Costs of Pollution in Canada: Measuring the impacts on families, businesses and governments

    Pollution costs Canadian families, businesses and governments a startling amount every year. These costs add up to tens of billions of dollars at least. These are our findings from a new report on the cost of pollution in Canada. Read More