Australia urgently needs a dedicated, independently administered fund to meet the escalating costs of natural disasters due to global warming.
Economic advantages of the NCDF
The Climate Disaster Fund will shift the cost burden of climate related disasters from Australian governments, businesses and the community to the large, mostly foreign owned companies we allow to extract coal, gas and oil in Australia.
Reducing the burden of natural disaster costs on the Australian community increases the amount of money households, businesses and governments will have to spend on other goods and services in the Australian economy.
In contrast, because the companies extracting fossil fuels in Australia are overwhelmingly foreign owned, their profits are largely expatriated to overseas shareholders.
These companies are also highly capital intensive and increasingly automated, meaning that they employ far fewer people per dollar of value than most of the industries operating in Australia that are currently shouldering the costs of global warming and natural disasters. As such, shifting the cost burden of natural disasters from labour intensive industries like tourism and manufacturing to fossil fuel producers is likely result in more jobs overall.
Exported fossil fuels are not used to provide energy for Australian consumers, and as such cannot be passed onto Australian consumers through higher energy prices. A $1 per tonne levy will have little if any effect on energy prices in Australia or jobs in the industry.
The levy is consistent with the “polluter pays” principle of internalising the negative impacts of economic activities, a fundamental principle of economics.
Beneficiaries of the National Climate Disaster Fund?
Funding can be distributed amongst the most disaster impacted regions and sectors in Australia. These include: