Insurance Coverage in a Climate Changed Canada: How Can Canada Pay for Loss and Damage from Anthropogenic Climate Change?
This article looks at the impact of anthropogenic climate change and its associated costs in the Canadian context. It begins by outlining how climate change is predicted to alter the Canadian climate before evaluating how this will affect the insurance industry. It determines that insurers’ response to the unpredictable risks and high costs associated with climate change will lead to significant gaps in coverage. How litigation of major carbon polluters could help cover some of the costs associated with climate change by holding polluters accountable is considered. State-led climate litigation can overcome some of the litigation obstacles identified and it may be preferable to civil litigation. The current state of civil and state-led litigation will be inadequate to address the mounting costs associated with climate change. Thus, the article considers the use of legislation to assist state-led litigation against major carbon polluters, which would be modeled after the tobacco legislation first used in British Columbia. The article contemplates how these funds could be disbursed into disaster relief and no-fault insurance schemes to compensate for climate loss and damage, as well as briefly discussing the international concerns relevant to these domestic issues. Ultimately, it is determined that there are viable combinations of legislation, litigation, taxation, compensation, mitigation, adaptation, and insurance that can better prepare Canada for managing the high costs associated with anthropogenic climate change.