Climate change-related disasters will cost Australia $ 73 billion a year by 2060, although action is taken now to reduce emissions, according to a report.
And if nothing is done to combat climate change, this figure will rise to 94 billion dollars per year by that date, according to a study by Deloitte Access Economics.
The data link report , commissioned by Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities (ABR), found the cost of inaction on climate change to date, and predict the price to pay in three scenarios: low, medium and high emissions.
Under "low emissions", climate change is contained at an increase of 1.7C abo five pre-industrial levels, with emissions falling to zero by 2100. The scenario " medium "means that temperatures start to drop by 2045, while in" high emissions "no effort is made to reduce them, causing temperatures to rise more than 2 ° C by 2045. 2040, and 3C after 2060.
The report says the cumulative bill for Australia would run into the trillions over the next four decades.
"Over the next 40 years, the cost of natural disasters to the Australian economyis expected to be at least $ 1.2 billion in present value terms, "the report said. " This cumulative cost would potentially increase by $ 125 billion if a higher emissions scenario were to occur. "
The report found that two-thirds of the cost will be borne by Queensland and New South Wales, with Melbourne vulnerable to flooding due to its proximity to major rivers.
Australia is already highly exposed to natural disasters - fires, floods, hailstorms and hurricanes - which are currently costing the nation. country $ 39 billion per year. This figure is expected to increase dramatically as property values rise and more people move to areas vulnerable to extreme weather events that strike harder and more often.
The " nightmare " would be a change in weather conditions causing the hurricane landing in South East Queensland, which has been heavily built by development.
This adds to a growing body of work in Australia and elsewhere who have sought to gauge the risks of the climate crisis, including one by London-based think tank Chatham House in September which took into account the impact of climate change tipping points.
Dan Gocher, director of climate and environment at the Austra Lasian Center for Corporate Responsibility, said that even in a low-emissions scenario, the numbers in the report were " infuriating "and should serve as a call to action. "This research quantifies the cost of doing nothing about climate change " said Gocher. "This is the perfect retort to those who repeatedly question the cost of reducing emissions.
Erwin Jackson, Policy Director of the Climate Change Investor Group, said Australia was highly exposed to the physical impacts of climate change and that government alone could not foot the bill.
He said the private sector would invest in resilience and adaptation measures but needed clear policy direction. It had started with a positive government response to the Royal Commission on Bushfires and the creation of a National Recovery and Resilience Agency, but more was needed, he said.
"We look forward to further didiscussions with the government on how we unlock private sector capital to build resilience to the impacts of climate change "he said.
Ian Dunlop, of the Breakthrough - National Center for Climate Restoration think tank, said the report was "very useful in confronting policymakers with the implications of climate change ", but the insurance industry was "shy "about the issue.
He said significant emission reductions are now needed to limit rising temperatures. " If you don't not, it's the end of the game "he said.