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Not too late to reduce the cost of climate change | Blue Mountains Gazette

The economic toll of climate change is set to worsen in cities and regions across Australia, but experts say there is still time for stronger action.

Increasingly frequent and severe events will hit crucial supply chains, markets, finance and trade, reducing the availability of goods in Australia and raising their price, an international report has warned.

Economist Nicki Hutley said on Tuesday that the report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change clearly indicates that Australia’s economy faces significant and growing economic challenges due to climate change.

“It is also clear that urgent emission reductions through renewable energy and new clean industries could allow us to avoid the worst financial shocks and offer incredible economic opportunities, especially for our regions”, he said. she declared.

The federal government supports new technologies to reduce emissions and says it has led the world in carbon reporting standards through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme.

“Australia has more to lose, but even more to gain than any other developed country in the transition to a net zero economy,” said John Connor, director of the Carbon Market Institute.

“We need stronger policies on industrial decarbonization and reversing deforestation, including a declining baseline under the federal government’s safeguard mechanism.”

The mechanism requires Australia’s biggest polluters to keep their net emissions below a benchmark level, but critics say it should be less lenient and also backed by adequate measurement and compliance.

Links to international carbon markets could also help emissions-intensive industries, such as energy, agriculture, transport, manufacturing and industrial processes for chemicals and steel.

Mr Connor said improvements to the credit and credibility of terrestrial and other forms of carbon reduction and removal are also needed.

The IPCC’s latest grim assessment warns that high levels of warming could lead to a decline in global GDP of 10-23% by the end of the century, and an even greater cost to our biggest trading partner, China.

If emissions remain high, overall losses in Australia’s agriculture, manufacturing and service sectors could reach $19 billion by 2030, $211 billion by 2050 and $4 trillion by 2100.

Former fire marshal Greg Mullins said the report spells out a “frightening future fire” that demands rapid emissions cuts.

“It is offensive to me, fellow firefighters and Australians dealing with climate change that we are not only the worst climate performer of all developed countries, but that we have a federal government that is actively making the problem worse by funding new fossil fuel developments.”

A blow to Australia’s health budget from deadly weather, more expensive food, rampant bushfires, damage to critical infrastructure and heat stress for livestock are among the challenges already faced .

Australian Social Services Council head Cassandra Goldie fears the climate impact will entrench and lead to more poverty and inequality.

“People on low incomes are the first, hardest hit and longest hit and have the fewest resources to cope, adapt and recover,” she said.

Australian Associated Press