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Costs of inaction

Climate change won’t just damage the natural environment, it also poses major risks to Australia’s economic prosperity.

While the modelling cannot accurately measure all the costs to the economy and environment of unmitigated climate change, there is no doubt that these costs far outweigh the modest cost of transforming our economy.

The science is compelling, the threat is real, the economic and environmental benefits are tangible, the need for action is clear.

It is not something that gets easier the longer we leave it.

In fact the opposite is true. The longer we leave acting, the more it will cost the Australian economy.

Without global action, we will experience severe water shortages, higher temperatures and less water in the Murray Darling for irrigation. The consequences of not acting will flow through to food prices and the cost of living more broadly.

Australia faces significant environmental and economic costs in a warmer, more unstable climate. Extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent and severe. This threatens our homes, businesses, communities and vital industries.

Every credible review, including Stern and the Garnaut Climate Change Review, has found the long‑term economic costs of inaction are greater than the costs of action. By not acting, we will also miss out on the investment, innovation and jobs that the global transformation to clean energy will bring.

As one of the nations likely to suffer the most from unmitigated climate change, we must act.

Map of Australia discussing the environmental impacts each State and Territory are facing due to climate change.