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Economic reality check

Adapting Australia for climate-resilient growth

Deloitte Access Economics was engaged by the Minderoo Foundation to estimate the economic opportunity of a resilient Australia. Our research finds that by making resilience core business and adapting now, Australia could avoid $380 billion in worsening economic costs from climate change.

Australia’s window for action is narrowing.Without rapid and significant climate action, over the next 10 years the loss to Australia’s economy could reach $150 billion (present value terms). This cost gets worse overtime with each year of inaction. Growing to a staggering $1 trillion over the next 30 years to 2050 (present value terms). In its worst year in 2050, Australia loses 3.6 per cent of its GDP and 137,000 jobs due to inaction on climate.

This doesn’t have to be the case.

Our research shows that Australia can avoid $380 billion of these costs over the next 30 years through adaptation ($120 billion) and mitigation ($260 billion). But the rapid increase in the cost of inaction means that the window to invest in adaptation is closing.

We need to break the cycle of our current, reactive approach to climate induced natural disasters and shift to forward thinking, planning and investment. We are working with community leaders, business leaders and government at all levels, to create highways to immediate and sustained action. This research is the first step in that journey.

- Andrew Forrest, Chairman and Co-founder of The Minderoo Foundation

To realise the economic benefits of the $380 billion dividend, Australia needs to break the disaster-response cycle and shift investment from response and recovery to adapting and building resilience. Failure to do this will mean Australia will miss out on the $120 billion economic benefit from adaptation.

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