Every action matters

We, the Central Coast Greens, are writing in response to, Peter Buckland’s, ‘A high level of renewable energy production is not affordable’ (Wyong Regional Chronicle edition 163).
Acknowledging the report, ‘Compounding Costs: How Climate Change is damaging the Australian Economy’, produced by the Climate Council of Australia Ltd 2019, authors, Will Steffan, Karl Mallon, Tom Kompas, Annika Dean and Martin Rice, set out the case for absolute and necessary change from ‘business as usual’.
The United Nation’s (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has told the world: Every action matters; Every bit of warming matters; Every year matters; and, Every choice matters.
UN scientists have stated that we have less than 11 years to get global pollution under control.
First, the cost of inaction.
Following are some alarming and disturbing statistics about the effect on Australia’s economy and way of life caused directly by climate change.
Extreme weather events, droughts, floods, heatwaves and cyclones will lead to reduced agricultural yield and productivity projected to exceed $19B by 2030.
For example, the 2009 Melbourne heatwave saw a 30-70 peer cent reduction of apple and pear crops due to sunburn (Natural Capitol Economics 2018), and the 2011-15 cyclones destroyed 70-90 per cent of the Queensland bananas, while recent floods have killed 664 000 cattle worth $800m (ABC 2019).
The 2010-2011 Queensland floods reduced exports by 7.8 per cent and overall the Gross State Product by 2.8 per cent (Queensland Treasury 2011).
Previous severe droughts reduce, in the year they occur, Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 1 per cent and climate change is set to increase the frequency to yearly (Carroll et al 2007).
It will cost an estimated $17B, from 2015-2050, to rebuild infrastructure following natural disasters (Deloitte 2017b).
Annual average cost of extreme weather is $85B by 2030 and is expected to rise to $91b by 2050.
Federal drought assistance since 2000 has cost Australians $6B.
One in 19 properties will be unable to afford insurance premiums by 2030
Twenty-three per cent of Local Government Areas are at risk in NSW from flooding and sea level rise.
The Reserve Bank of Australia, Australia Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission all cite risks posed by climate change as a central concern for the economy and financial stability.
Now we have a plan and pathway to realise a different future as spelled out in the Renew 2030: Our Plan for a Renewable Economy (Australian Greens 2019).
Stopping the damage means embracing progress and technological solutions and readers are encouraged to visit our website to learn about this plan.
It will be clear from that plan that far from the assertion that the goal of 100 per cent renewables would cost our economy, we know the change would improve our economy while enhancing our environment, now that’s a ‘win, win’ in anyone’s language.

Email, May 13
Sue Wynn
Central Coast Greens

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