In an Australian ABC News story in early February, Deloitte Access Economics Partner Nicki Hutley referred to the potential cost of climate change as “astronomical”. In my latest podcast episode, I chat with Nicki about the cost of action compared with the cost of inaction on climate change.
Use these (approximate) timestamps to jump right to the highlights:
- 1:10 – Nicki describes why the costs of unmitigated climate change would be “astronomical”
- 4:40 – reference to Deloitte report for Australian Business Roundtable finding cost of extreme weather events in Australia will be $40 billion per year by 2050
- 8:00 – further discussion of cost of inaction, including a reference to Deloitte’s report on the value of the Great Barrier Reef
- 10:30 – what needs to be done to avert catastrophic climate change (i.e. need to transition away from using fossil fuels) and the distinction between mitigation and adaptation
- 15:20 – current international agreements/measures won’t reduce emissions enough
- 16:00 – discussion of the inadequacy of Australian state government aspirational targets for renewable energy in the absence of a carbon price/emissions trading scheme or carbon tax
- 21:00 – Nicki argues that, due to the lack of a carbon price, we are not encouraging sufficient investment in renewables or in R&D – reference to blue and green hydrogen (check out Woodside’s website for information)
- 22:50 – I mention Brian Fisher’s controversial estimate of the cost of the Australian Opposition’s climate change plan of $500 billion and ask Nicki about the cost of acting versus not acting, with Nicki noting the cost of inaction would be many multiples of the cost of action
- 25:40 – discussion of implications of transition away from fossil fuels for coal miners, etc.
- 27:40 – costs of renewable energy vs coal