Deloitte Access Economics examines the impact of natural disasters on people, the environment and our communities in a series of reports for the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities.
The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities was formed in December 2012 by the Chief Executive Officers of: Australian Red Cross, Insurance Australia Group, Investa Property Group, Munich Re, Optus and Westpac Group.
This body of work supports a growing national awareness of the need for disaster mitigation and resilience due to the increasing prevalence and cost of natural disasters. Visit the website.
This report uses three different climate change scenarios to estimate their impact on the cost of natural disasters. Over the next 40 years the different climate change trajectories will lead to a $125 billion difference in cumulative cost in present value. Even if a low emission scenario is achieved – whereby timely action will see net emissions start to fall and reach zero by 2100, the cost of natural disasters is forecast to be $1.2 trillion in cumulative costs over the next forty years.
Using new data which reports damage costs at a more granular level, this report finds that coastal population centres in South East Queensland and North East NSW will experience some of the highest increases in costs as they become more exposed to tropical cyclones and floods, as warming oceans enable tropical cyclones to move further south. Further investment in disaster resilience is essential to lessen the potential increase in costs. This includes physical measures, such as resilient infrastructure, and community measures, such as preparedness programs.
This report finds that the total economic cost of natural disasters is growing and will reach $39 billion per year by 2050. These costs include significant, and often long-term, social impacts, including death and injury and impacts on employment, education, community networks, health and wellbeing.
The report considers challenges for disaster resilience in the states and territories, and the role of these governments in collaboration with other jurisdictions, community and business. Further investment in disaster resilience is essential to lessen the forecast increase in costs. This includes physical measures, such as resilient infrastructure, and community measures, such as preparedness programs.
This report investigates the decision-making process for new ‘hard’ infrastructure assets in light of disaster risks, including the various Commonwealth and state guidelines for comparing project options through cost-benefit analysis. It also builds the case for embedding resilience considerations into this process, and offers practical steps to do so.
This report expands on Building our nation’s resilience to natural disasters by valuing some of the broader social impacts of natural disasters to better understand the total cost of natural disasters in Australia.
This report provides an overview of natural disaster data and research in Australia, and reinforced the need for better coordination and transparency of disaster risk and resilience information.