Global Heating is already affecting Australia
In the summer of 2019/20, Wentworth residents experienced many days of exposure to thick bushfire smoke rolling out to the Pacific from further inland. The lived experience for many residents was concerning. Click here to see our recent discussion on the impacts of Climate Change in Australia.
In September 2020, we discussed the economic impacts of climate change and the opportunities presented by the need for stimulus spending in the wake of the COVID pandemic with Sustainability Adviser Maria Atkinson and Economist Monica Richter. You can view the discussion here: Economic Recovery and Climate Change: Rebirth or Ruin?
It its report released in early November 2020 “A new choice: Australia’s climate for growth” Deloitte Access Economics looked at the impacts on Australians of not addressing climate change and found:
- Taken today, more than 30% of employed Australians and over 30% of national income sit in industries exposed to economic disruption and risk from climate change and unplanned economic transition
- By 2070 – in the lifetime of Australians in their 20s, 30s and 40s today – the economic cost of doing nothing is an economy which is 6% smaller, a $3.4 trillion loss in GDP in present value terms, and with 880,000 fewer jobs
- In contrast, a new growth recovery, delivering net zero by 2050 and consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5C, could add $680 billion (in present value terms) and grow the economy by 2.6% in 2070, adding more than 250,000 jobs.
The NSW Bushfire Inquiry Report dated 31 July 2020 found a clear link between climate change resulting from increased greenhouse gas emissions and the conditions that led up to the unprecedented bushfires of 2019/20.
More than 700 Australian doctors have written an open letter to the Prime Minister voicing their concern about the climate crisis and the impact it is having on the safety and wellbeing of Australians and our neighbours.
Researchers at the University of Sydney and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science published a study in 2019 finding that climate change could lead to declines of underwater kelp forests with potential impacts on two of Australia’s largest fisheries. Declines of the 8,000km long kelp forests dominating the Great Southern Reef will potentially affect all associated ecosystems including shellfish, lobster, abalone and many species of fish.