Clean water, air and land contribute to better health, greater enjoyment of life, more productive communities and a stronger economy. Likewise, contamination of the environment by pollution leads to a wide variety of costs. Pollution harms human health, damages forests and crops and degrades the quality of land and water—to name just some of its impacts. The result is higher costs for many things: medical care, raw materials, food and public services. For example, in Canada the estimated welfare cost (mortality only) of pollution-related extreme weather (heat waves) is estimated to have been $1.6 billion in 2015, and costs arising from severe algal blooms currently affecting Lake Erie are about $4 million annually

This report is intended to better equips Canadians, policy-makers and industry leaders to understand and make decisions about pollution. The challenge is to balance the trade-off between pollution’s costs and the benefits of the activities that lead to its creation. The report shows that the costs involved are very significant. Allowing the costs to be obscured by poor data serves no one well.

A digital version of the report can be found here.

Published By: International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Publication Date: June 2017

View Costs of Pollution in Canada

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