A new report from Deloitte has said that Australia is at risk of losing $3 trillion and more than 800,000 jobs from climate inaction over the next 50 years, urging the government to accelerate public and private sector investments into the renewable energy sector.
Deloitte Access Economics says that Australia’s economy would shrink by more than 6% if the country becomes complacent to the risks of climate change and results in climate policy inaction. This would result in 880,000 jobs being lost from the Australian economy, with damages totaling an estimated $3 trillion over the next 50-years.
Lead author of the report, Pradeep Philip has said that “climate change is no longer a possibility, it is a reality… Doing nothing is now a policy choice, and it is costly,” he said, urging the government to take the threat of a shrinking economy and massive numbers of jobs lost as the result of climate inaction.
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$3 Trillion and 800,000 Jobs Lost From Climate Inaction
“If we do act over the next few years, then in just 50 years, there is a benefit to the economy of $680 billion,” he says, explaining that “we’ll have an economy 2.6 per cent bigger, generating 250,000 jobs, so this tells us if you are pro-growth and pro-jobs then we need to act on climate change now.”
The report says that more than 30% of Australians are currently employed in an industry that is exposed to significant risks from climate change and stand to be impacted by “economic disruption and risk,” if they are left unaddressed.
“We know that there are new sectors around renewables, hydrogen, electric vehicles that can be created,” Mr Philip said, adding that “both government and private sector investments need to get cracking to accelerate Australia’s inevitable shift to a low-emission future… by 2050, Australia will experience losses on par with COVID every single year if we don’t address climate change.”
“Every day’s delay costs Australians more,” he said. “The technologies and ideas to create a new growth economy in Australia that is resilient to risks are available today.”
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“It would see Australia’s economy growing and the creation of jobs. Our climate does not care about borders, politics or ideologies, so the ultimate solution to mitigating global warming still has to be coordinated global action,” lead author of the report Pradeep Philip said.
The report warns that states like Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland are the most prone to feeling the impacts of climate change on their trade, mining and tourism industries. “If you work outside in construction, higher average temperatures make it quite unbearable to work, so we get a loss of productivity, we get adverse health affects, and this translates across the board into retail, manufacturing, transport and mining,” he said.
“Queensland in 50 years will represent half of the country’s job losses if we don’t get this right, but will gain 70% of jobs if we do get this right,” he said.
Farmers Already Feeling the Pressure of Climate Inaction: Farmers for Climate Action Group
A report from the ABC quotes the chairman of the Farmers for Climate Action group, Charlie Prell who said that the industry is already feeling the pressure of climate change, but the sector does have opportunities to invest in more sustainable means of operating.
Mr Prell says these opportunities reside “particularly in hosting renewable energy infrastructure, but also the opportunity to be paid for sequestering carbon in trees and in soil.”
“During the last drought, the last two years, I reduced my stocking rate by about nearly 60 per cent, and the only reason I could do that and remain viable was because I was receiving income from the company I’m in partnership with for the wind turbines that are on my land.”
Prell continued to explain that “transport, buildings, businesses, even oil companies and miners are moving despite the Government’s inability to take action on climate change and to have some kind of plan to get to carbon neutral.”
“The National Farmer’s Federation have a net zero emissions by 2050 policy to achieve that,” he said, adding that “a lot of them are not left-wing, looney, greenie organisations, they’re actually capitalists, the ANZ bank is not a left-wing institution… they’re looking to ameliorate and address risk,” he said in reference to the ANZ bank’s call last week that it would move to a carbon neural business plan by the middle of the century and stop investing in carbon-intensive businesses.