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Nation ‘woefully unprepared’ for climate change, business groups warn

Australia is “woefully unprepared” for the scale of the climate change threats it faces, and suffers from a public debate focused too much on the cost of action rather than the costs of failing to act, says a coalition of environment and business groups.

“There is no systemic government response (federal, state and local) to build resilience to climate risks,” says a paper published by the Australian Climate Roundtable, which includes climate groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation and business bodies including the Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group and the Australian Aluminium Council.

Black Summer: Fires jump the Monaro Highway outside Bredbo, near Cooma.

Black Summer: Fires jump the Monaro Highway outside Bredbo, near Cooma.Credit:Dean Sewell

“Action is piecemeal, unco-ordinated, does not engage business, private sector investment, unions, workers in affected industries, community sector and communities, and does not match the scale of the threat climate change represents to the Australian economy, environment and society,” the group said.

“Even with ambitious global action in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, Australia will experience escalating costs from the climate change associated with historical emissions,” said the paper, written after months of consultation between the member groups.

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