Understanding and Assessing Impacts
The Costing Climate Change Impacts to Public Infrastructure (CIPI) project led by the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) followed an interdisciplinary approach combining analysis from asset management, engineering, climate science and economics. In the first and second phases of the project, the FAO assessed the composition and state of repair of provincial and municipal infrastructure and released its findings in November 2020 and August 2021, respectively. In the third phase (concluding in 2022), the CIPI project used an infrastructure deterioration model developed by the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI), to project the financial impacts of select climate hazards on Ontario’s public infrastructure under different emissions scenarios. The model analysis is based on data from:
- Climate variable projections: downscaled regional projections of extreme precipitation, extreme heat, and freeze-thaw cycles under low, medium, and high emissions scenarios
- Provincial and municipal asset inventories (public buildings/facilities, transportation infrastructure, and water infrastructure): the current replacement value (CRV), costs of maintaining in a good state of repair and repair backlog
- Climate costs elasticities: relationships between climate variables (e.g., changes in temperature and precipitation) and infrastructure costs, including both damage and adaptation costs
While public infrastructure faces many climate hazards, the CIPI project focuses on extreme rainfall, extreme heat, and freeze-thaw cycles as they are the most likely to have the greatest budgetary impacts and can be projected with the greatest degree of scientific confidence. The FAO partnered with WSP Canada to provide analysis on the engineering aspects of the CIPI project. The Canadian Centre for Climate Services (CCCS) provided regional projections under the low (RCP2.6), medium (RCP4.5) and high (RCP8.5) emissions scenarios for the selected climate variables using the BCCAQv2 dataset.