Australian Business Claim Climate Change Biggest Risk For Next Decade

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8th December 2009, 08:01am - Views: 599

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Embargoed until 12am, 8 December 2009

Australian business claim climate change biggest risk for next


Climate change related risks, led by water scarcity, droughts and bushfires present the greatest

challenges to Australian business amid a call for urgent research and development, a landmark

report has found.

The Australia Report 2010: Risks and Opportunities, released today by the Australian Davos


(ADC) in collaboration with KPMG, addresses

business risks and opportunities

across economic, political, environmental, societal and technological boundaries.

ADC’s Chairman,

Michael Roux, says

the report cites climate change related risks such as

droughts and extreme weather, terrorism and potential regional instability as the greatest

challenges facing this country today.

”The Victorian bushfires and Sydney dust storm have shown that while environmental concerns


seen as

most urgent, they don’t

exist in isolation

from the economic, political and social

aspects of Australian life.

“The report highlights strong relationships between identified risks. For example, water scarcity


economic productivity, population policy, regional development, agriculture and urban

planning,” Mr Roux says.

Mr Roux says that social and economic risks are heavily interconnected, as are international and

national risk factors, adding that business is only too well aware of our precarious standing.

Inadequate research, development and design were identified as critical risks linked to many of

the challenges said to be facing Australia. These risks are further highlighted by OECD findings

that Australia lags behind other countries in terms of investment in research by approximately 35


“Business is telling us that innovation in technology, processes and human capital could reduce

many of the risks identified by the report,” Mr Roux says.


to environmental risks, KPMG partner,

Dr Andries Terblanche, says that Australia’s

economic prosperity is largely dependant on a growing Asian economy.

“Interestingly, business sees economic unrest in the region as a significant risk following the

environment, although with a reduced likelihood of occurring,” says Dr Terblanche.

Threat of instability in the Asia-Pacific region, ongoing unrest in the Middle East, and terrorism

are seen as significant


risks for Australia.

Other common risks arose from the

international markets, including oil and gas prices, exchange rate volatility and carbon pricing.

“Australia must remain a consistent regional player, positively influencing regional stability. Our

focus should steer towards building trusting relationships with our trading partners while

strengthening our responsiveness through improved research and development,”

says Dr


Dr Terblanche said that Australia may be the lucky country but warned that we will need more

than luck to withstand the challenges that confront us today.

“This report should stimulate debate on key risks and inspire action to address them,” he says.

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Mr Roux concluded

that while business believes Australia’s economy and institutions could

largely weather the challenges ahead, additional research and development, supported by policy

initiatives is essential. 


Notes to Editors:

Link to Australia Report: 2010

About the Australian Davos Connection

The Australian Davos Connection is a not-for-profit,

wholly Australian, non-political leadership

organisation which brings together leaders from business, government,

academia and the

broader community to improve their understanding of key issues facing Australia.

About the report:

The Australia Report 2010: Risks and Opportunities

is a landmark report in risk analysis for

Australia as it addresses the risks and opportunities facing the nation over the next decade,

acknowledging their interconnectedness and understanding the global forces at play.

One hundred and fifteen leaders from political, business, community and academic interest

groups took part in the survey which adopted the research, roundtable discussions and peer-

review methodologies used by the World Economic Forum annual global risks assessment.

About KPMG

KPMG is one of the world’s leading professional services networks. It comprises over 135,000

people in member firms in more than 140 countries.

Both Michael Roux and Andries Terblanche are available for interview.

High resolution images are available.

For further information or to arrange an interview with either Michael Roux or Andries

Terblanche, please contact:  

Brigitte Claney at Mendleson Communication on behalf of ADC, 03 9827 0422, 0412 189 558,


Natalie Causley, KPMG Communications Manager, 02 9295 3851, 0410 838 914,

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