A NEW REPORT from the Climate Council has found that over the past decade Queenslanders paid more than double any other state or territory in extreme weather disaster losses.
The report called Hitting Home found that between 2010 and 2019 these disasters cost Queensland $18 billion, more than half the national total of $35 billion.
"Queensland has suffered great economic damage from extreme weather disasters, more than any other state or territory," said lead author and Climate Council spokesman, Professor Will Steffen.
"There is no doubt that we have entered an era of consequences arising from decades of climate inaction and delay," said Professor Steffen.
"And it is going to get worse. By 2038, extreme weather events driven by climate change, as well as issues like sea level rise, could cost the Australian economy $100 billion every year," he said.
The devastating Black Summer fires, extreme heat, a crippling drought, water shortages and yet another mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef highlight Queensland's acute vulnerability to climate impacts.
"Although we've been hit hard by the extreme impacts of climate change, as a state and a region, we've also got a lot to gain. Queensland has the potential to be a clean industry powerhouse and regional Queensland should be at the forefront," said Longreach Grazier and Farmers for Climate Action spokesperson, Angus Emmott.
"If serious climate action is taken now, Queensland will be better able to weather the worst impacts of climate change and cement a sustainable future that sees industries, businesses and communities thrive," he said.
REPORT KEY FINDINGS
The latest science projects that by 2100 annual deaths from extreme heat worldwide will outstrip all COVID-19 deaths recorded in 2020.
Without drastic climate action we will lose Australia's and the world's tropical coral reefs.
Around half of all hard corals along the Great Barrier Reef were lost during successive mass bleaching events in the past five years.
In 2019, heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding across more than half of Queensland – one of the worst disasters in the region's history.
Ignoring climate change is deadly. Australians are now paying the price for our own and the world's failure to reduce emissions quickly enough or deeply enough.
We need bold, concerted action across all levels of government, business, industry and community to reduce Australia's emissions to net zero as soon as possible and prepare for worsening extreme weather events.
Climate Council's Clean Jobs Plan found up to 20,000 jobs can be created in Queensland, rapidly getting people back into the workforce while also tackling climate change.