Australian government counts the cost of climate denial – ITUC


The extended bushfire season in Australia has wreaked havoc on communities, with 8.4 billion hectares of land burnt, and lives, homes and livelihoods lost along with up to a billion animals.

The Insurance Council of Australia estimates the cost of insurance claims will reach US$485 million, and these are expected to increase significantly. The bushfire season has months to run before rain is expected.

Moody’s Analytics has estimated the economic cost will go beyond the US$3 billion set by the Black Saturday blazes in 2009.

“Australia is a developed country where the government is in climate denial, short-sightedly defending corporate interests and sheer greed. It has refused and continues to refuse to take the actions climate and fire safety experts have demanded. Reconstruction will cost billions of dollars, and impact on people’s livelihoods for years to come, and the cost of ill health due to toxic air quality, both to individuals and the Medicare system, will be a burden for decades. The ITUC stands in solidarity with Australia’s working families.” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC.

In 2008, the influential Garnaut Climate Change Review warned that “Fire seasons will start earlier, end later and be more intense. This effect increases over time but should be directly observable by 2020.” Fire chiefs across Australia have been calling for more fire mitigation measures with warnings that unless Australia has its own fleet of water-bombing aircraft, firefighting capacity will fall short. Such warnings were dismissed by the Australian government as climate activism.

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“Workers in the emergency services and volunteers in their own communities are on the front lines of defending people, their homes and community infrastructure. We thank them profusely for their efforts and their courage. They are working heroes. The world faces a climate emergency and we are running out of time. Governments, including Australia, must commit to reducing their emissions with updated NDCs ahead of the November 2020 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow,” said Sharan Burrow.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has established a bushfire relief fund for union members who may need support beyond assistance that is available.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) represents 200 million members of 332 affiliates in 163 countries and territories.

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  1. Big business and international investors are making too much money from present Fossil fuel activity. They drive Govt decisions.
    The public must revolt before change will be contemplated.

  2. Fifteenth Forum of the World Association for Political Economy

    ‘Rethinking Economic Analysis: Political Economy vs Economics’

    31 July – 2 August 2020, Panteion University, Athens, Greece
    The 15th WAPE Forum will be held 31 July – 2 August 2020 at Panteion University, Athens, Greece. It is co-organised by WAPE (World Association of Political Economy – and GAPE (Greek Association of Political Economy – and hosted by the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (

    The broad theme of the conference focuses on the controversy between the two main alternative traditions in economic analysis, Political Economy and Economics. Economics (with their myopic understanding of the economy as simply market relations, neglect of social and political factors and class struggle and their almost overt support for capital against labour) has been historically proved incapable of grasping how economies work and forecast and confront competently economic crises.

    On the other hand, Political Economy (offering a social understanding of the economy, focusing on the sphere of production, linking economic analysis to social and political factors and to class struggle) has been more successful in comprehending the actual workings of the economy and in analyzing economic crises.

    However, despite their long-standing failures, Economics continue to dominate academia and policy-making centers, especially in the West. Even after the last global economic crisis and its blatant failure to foresee and to resolve it, its dominance remains unwavered as it is supported by strong vested class interests. Nevertheless, there is growing unrest within both the academia and the society with this failed dominance. Political Economy is the main approach towards which all those dissatisfied with Economics turn.


    • Economics whether pure or political, makes assumption that do not hold for the changes humankind has to make.
      Basics are environment, sustainable food, resource restoration and population management.

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