The CBC News initiative “Our Changing Planet” focuses on climate change and its effects. Invasive species are a major issue, costing us both financially and in terms of biodiversity. Humans have introduced thousands of non-native species around the world, often without considering the impact on ecosystems. Invasive species can spread and cause destruction, as seen with the wildfire that destroyed the town of Lahaina in Hawaii. A recent report by the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) found that invasive species have serious impacts globally, leading to extinctions and costing billions of dollars. In Canada, examples include the sea lamprey and zebra and quagga mussels, which have devastated the Great Lakes. Climate change exacerbates the issue, as warmer temperatures allow invasive species to thrive in new areas. Prevention is key, and measures such as lampricides and ballast water regulations can help. It is crucial to prioritize prevention to avoid further biodiversity loss and threats to our economy and well-being. The insurance industry is also feeling the effects of climate change, with extreme weather events leading to higher payouts and restrictions on coverage. This makes selling insurance increasingly risky, and homeowners in vulnerable areas may struggle to find affordable rates.
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