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According to the International Disasters Database, in 2021, 432 catastrophic events were recorded globally, which is significantly higher than the average of 357 annual extreme weather events recorded between 2001-2020. Floods dominated these events, with 223 recorded in 2021, up from an average of 163 per annum between 2001-2020. The Australian East Coast Floods in 2022 not only impacted millions of people and cost over $5 billion in damages, but they also showed that even individuals who were not directly impacted by the event bear the economic and social cost. These impacts range from the rising cost of produce to shouldering the tax bill for recovery costs.
Not only that, but according to our research direct costs from extreme weather events are estimated to grow by 5.13 per cent each year (before inflation) and reach $35.24 billion (in 2022 dollars) by 2050. In 2050 Australian households will be paying an average of $2,509.16 every year for the direct costs of extreme weather events. The wider economic costs will be even greater.