The financial district of Toronto is shown on Wednesday Sept. 18, 2019. A new economic report says the next decade in Canada will increasingly be shaped by the twin forces of climate change and demographic disruption from an aging population. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ives

Climate change, aging population major economic factors in forecast for 2020s

Report predicts 650,000 people will be living in Canadian seniors’ residences or nursing homes in 2030

A new economic report says the next decade in Canada will increasingly be shaped by the twin forces of climate change and demographic disruption from an aging population.

“By 2030, Canada’s economy could look significantly different,” says the RBC report released Monday, dubbed Navigating the 2020s.

“A country whose economic identity has long been bound to natural resource extraction will accelerate its transformation into a services economy.”

An older population will present governments with challenges including rising health-care costs and elder benefits, the report by RBC economists forecasts.

It predicts 650,000 people will be living in Canadian seniors’ residences or nursing homes in 2030, up from 450,000 now, and the extra capacity will cost at least $140 billion to build.

Meanwhile, the proportion of working-age Canadians is expected to fall to 1.7 for every youth and senior by 2030, down from 2.3 in 2010.

A recent federal report found Canada’s climate warmed 1.7 degrees C between 1948 and 2016, twice the global rate, the RBC report notes.

It says dealing with the growing urgency of climate change could influence Canadian farmers’ crop choices, put strains on ports and coastal roads, determine the location of new residential developments and drive up insurance costs.

“Canada’s investment in pollution abatement and control increased tenfold in the past decade and will demand even more resources in the 2020s,” the RBC report notes.

It cites a recent Canada Energy Regulator study that forecasts energy use per capita will decline almost nine per cent by 2030, while noting a shift from coal to natural gas in electricity generation will reduce emissions intensity.

ALSO READ: Liberals face challenge to climate, economic policies early in 2020

Domestic demand for oil and refined petroleum products will decline due to increased transportation efficiencies but oil production will grow from 4.9 million barrels per day in 2020 to 5.7 million bpd in 2030 thanks to rising exports, the RBC report says.

The installed capacity of wind and solar in Canada is expected to increase by nearly 50 per cent in the next decade but will account for only nine per cent of electricity generation in 2030, the report notes, again citing CER figures.

The findings are consistent with trends identified by the Calgary-based Canadian Energy Research Institute.

“I see energy’s role as maturing in the sense that we’re likely to continue to see growth in the oil industry and the electricity industry,” said CEO Allan Fogwill in an interview.

“The growth in the natural gas industry is very tightly linked to growth in LNG (exports).”

CERI bases its outlook on successful construction of three oil export pipelines from Western Canada — the Trans Mountain expansion, Line 3 replacement project and Keystone XL — along with greater capacity for crude-by-rail shipments.

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Mural Festival comes alive in the downtown core

‘Murals offer a safe way for people to enjoy socially distanced artwork,’ says organizer

Chilliwack museum looking for public feedback on exhibits

Online survey will help drive three-year plan for future exhibit possibilities

Mission man who nearly died from COVID-19 at Abbotsford hospital reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Lavender hand sanitizer sale raises cash for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Golf course and lavender farm partner up to support health care in the Fraser Valley

Donations of fresh produce sought from Chilliwack backyard gardeners

Hamper program from Chilliwack Citizens for Change to serve those with special dietary needs

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read