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8 September 2022

Cost of living pushed up by climate-driven floods

The cost of living for Australian families is being driven up by climate damage as the Australian Insurance Council reveals households across Australia paid a higher cost of living because of flooding in NSW and Queensland earlier this year.

Farmers for Climate Action CEO Dr Fiona Davis said neither working families nor Australian farmers could afford increases in cost of living due to climate damage.

“The McKell Institute confirms what we knew: Climate change is driving up the cost of living,” Dr Davis said.

“The McKell Institute report finds each Australian family has paid $525 in the increased cost of food and other farm products because of the huge floods in NSW and Queensland earlier this year – floods made far worse by climate change.

Those floods came just two years after the deadly Black Summer Fires and extreme weather events driven by climate change are becoming more and more frequent.

“The report says the hit to Australian households from floods, fires, drought and other climate-driven events this financial year was almost double the decade average of $888 at $1532.

“Australian families can’t afford the huge hit to their hip pocket climate damage is causing.

“Insurance Council of Australia figures reveal losses from the floods were $5.28 billion, while losses in the Black Summer fires were $2.32 billion. This does not take into account the massive health impacts from these climate events.”

Dr Davis said farmers were worried about the cost of insurance premiums, which are rising steeply because of climate damage.

“Huge hikes in insurance premiums following climate damage are coming as farmers continue to count the cost of floods six months ago. Some of our farmer members have reported losses of more than $100 000.

“We need deep emissions reductions in this, the decisive decade, to protect our farming families and our food supply.”

A recent report by GHD saw GHD Australian Water Market Leader Lindsay Brown noted climate damage to the agriculture sector was not limited to on-farm damage, but also to “ability to transport and equipment losses, and all the things that actually make that part of our economy viable”.

Dr Davis said Farmers for Climate Action’s Fork in the Road report had identified exactly the same thing and showed consumers were already paying more for food because of climate damage.

Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of 7000 farmers calling for strong economy-wide climate policies.

Key facts:

Cost of living takes massive hit from climate-driven floods earlier this year

Report by the McKell Institute reveals a hit to each Australian household of $525 due to higher prices paid for food and farm products, plus extra government spending

We need deep emissions reductions this decade to protect our farmers and our food supply

Media contacts:

For more information, interviews with FCA farmers contact Jacqui Street 0498 188 528 / [email protected]org.au

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