Canadian Chamber Flags Climate Change as Risk to Competitiveness
Climate change is one of the top 10 risks to Canada’s business competitiveness, according to a report released last week by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
“The impacts of climate change will be increasingly challenging for industries across Canada,” stated the report, Canada’s Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness. “Changing weather patterns will lead to regional water supply difficulties for agriculture, natural resource industries, and local communities. Infrastructure will be threatened in the North from melting permafrost, and on the coast due to rising sea levels.”
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“We need to take all aspects of this seriously, to address climate change,” and “ensure we do it without damaging the Canadian economy in the process,” said Chamber President and CEO Perrin Beatty. “That’s possible if we are strategic, and the government is open to having everyone at the table.”
Vice-President of Policy Warren Everson called climate change “an extremely significant issue across the top of the whole economy.”
The Chamber is calling on the federal government to “play an active role in creating a national strategy to deal with the impacts of climate change and create a carbon regulatory system,” iPolitics reports. “The absence of a strategy is creating uncertainty that is harming investment, business competitiveness, and job creation, the report says.”
The Chamber also pointed to Canada’s poor record on innovation, with Everson commenting in a way that could just as easily apply to clean energy strategy: “You are going to have to be faster and more nimble in deploying technologies and being innovative and leading the pack,” he said. “Otherwise, what is your value?”