Australia risks $2.4 trillion, 880,000 jobs due to unchecked climate change

Sydney, Australia, Nov 2 (efe-epa).- Australia risks losing AU$3.4 trillion ($2.4 trillion) over the next 50 years if it did not address the effects of polluting emissions, according to a study published on Monday.

In addition to the damage to the economy that could contract by 6 percent, about 880,000 jobs could also be lost by 2070, when the world warms by about 3 degrees Celsius, consultancy Deloitte Access Economics estimates.

Australia could expand its economy by AU$680 trillion, increase gross domestic product by 2.6 percent, and create 250,000 new jobs if it achieved zero emissions by 2050 to limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the report said.

In its report called “A new choice: Australia’s climate for growth,” the consulting firm seeks to determine the future of the Australian economy based on different policy models to tackle climate change.

The report comes at a time when the conservative government of Australia, the largest exporter of coal in the world, remains committed to extracting gas on its path of economic recovery following the Covid-19 epidemic, which has caused the first recession in 30 years in the country.

“Both government and private sector investment is needed to fill the chasm covid has left in the economy,” the report says.

“This investment should be used to accelerate Australia’s inevitable shift to a low emission economic structure – one that avoids Australia running off another economic cliff in a few years’ time.”

According to the consultancy, the economic costs of the “locked in” average global warming that occurs and moving to net-zero by 2050 is a 0.1 percent loss in GDP growth, on average, over the 30 years to 2050.

That 0.1 percent loss in Australia’s GDP by 2050 is estimated to be $90 billion, in present value terms.

Of this $90 billion cost of moving to net-zero, $23 billion, or 26 percent, is due to the locked-in impacts of climate change.

The remaining $67 billion, by 2050, represents the cost to the economy of reducing emissions to reach net-zero in a new growth recovery.

The report comes a few days after a government commission, set up to investigate the bushfire season of 2019-20, one of the worst fire seasons Australia has experienced, warned about the impact of the climate crisis in its final report.

“Extreme weather has already become more frequent and intense because of climate change; further global warming over the next 20 to 30 years is inevitable,” the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements said. EFE-EPA


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