Climate crisis could cost Australia $1.15 billion: Treasury

Sydney, Australia, Sep 26 (EFE).- The climate crisis could cost Australia about AU$1.8 billion ($1.15 billion) in crop losses in 40 years, warned the country’s Treasurer on Tuesday.

“If further action isn’t taken, Australian crop yields could be 4 percent lower by 2063, costing us about $1.8 billion in GDP in today’s dollars,” Jim Chalmers said in a speech at the National Drought Forum held in the northeastern city of Rockhampton.

The data is based on projections made by the Treasury on the impact of an increase in global temperatures by almost two degrees, a situation that has impacted the intensity and frequency of forest fires, droughts and coral bleaching, among other disasters in Australia.

Climate events such as the Black Summer bushfires between 2019 and 2020 and the severe flooding of October 2022 on Australia’s east coast together cost about AU$3 billion.

“The pressure of a changing climate and more frequent natural disasters is constant, cascading, and cumulative,” Chalmers emphasized, according to the transcript of his speech published on his official website.

These projections come a month after an official intergenerational report warned that if Australia and the rest of the countries do not take action to mitigate climate change, it will cause a drop of between 0.2 and 0.8 percent in productivity in the country by the year 2063.

If global warming was at 2C, this drop in productivity would translate to losses of up to $AU423 billion for Australia’s economy.

The current Labor government, which came to power in May 2022 ending 12 years of conservative policies, has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent by 2030 (an improvement on the previous target of 26-28 percent), and zero emissions by 2050.

In addition, the government of Australia, one of the largest polluters on the planet if its fossil fuel exports are taken into account, seeks to achieve neutral emissions by 2050 and become a renewable energy powerhouse.

Despite the progress, hundreds of Australian scientists and engineers asked last week that the government advance its commitment to achieve neutral emissions by 2035, 15 years earlier than agreed, in order to achieve the monumental challenge of limiting global warming to 1.5C. EFE


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