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A new choice:

Australia's climate for growth

Deloitte Access Economics has been a leader in shaping reform debates over many decades. Now we bring our expertise to the wicked problem of climate change – and the economics of it. This topic has been the subject of debate, misconstruction, and genuine complexity. 

At the core of the issue on climate change is the assumption that unconstrained emissions (and therefore warming) are compatible with economies which can grow forever. But, based on the science, this is not possible. Yet this has been the benchmark of economic analysis and the basis for assessment of any actions to solve for climate change. 

Deloitte Access Economics has constructed a view of the Australian economy where inaction, or mis-action, in preventing climate change causes damage to the Australian economy. Climate change is no longer a scenario, but instead becomes the baseline for the economy.

While inaction will have the effect of curtailing Australia’s economic growth to the tune of $3.4 trillion and 880,000 fewer jobs in just 50 years, there is an upside – a new choice that Australia can make to create a new climate for growth. And the payoff? A bigger economy –$680 billion bigger – with 250,000 more jobs in just 50 years.

It is a new choice – and an easy one to make. 

While the effects are not spread evenly across our States and Territories or across industries, all are affected. There is no free ride and the choice to take no action is costly for all businesses, all sectors, and for the community.

This report provides a basis for a more hopeful and useful debate about climate change – because Australia’s current debate no longer appropriately serves Australians, our economy or our decision makers. The policy choices over the next 2-3 years are the choices that will shape the next 10-20 – this is the narrow window we have to choose the change that will prevent the worst consequences of a warming world. 

Our Chief Economist, Chris Richardson, has a saying that “…everyone has a second job in life – the job of leaving the world a better place…” Never has that been more true or apt than in the analysis and insights of this report.

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