Extreme weather events in Australia have cost the country more than $35 billion in the past decade, with that figure set to worsen in years to come, a new report has found.
The report, released by the Climate Council on Wednesday, found that the cost of extreme weather such as bushfires, floods and cyclones has almost doubled since the 1970s.
It's estimated that by 2038, extreme weather events could cost the national economy $100 billion each year.
The report's lead author Professor Will Steffen said while the cost of the impact of natural disasters was high during the past decade, last summer's devastating bushfires were not included in the final cost.
He said while the final impact of the Black Summer fires were being calculated, events such as those could become more common in future years.
"While we've estimated for the past decade there'd be $35 billion worth of damage, we expected that to be an underestimation, given everything that has occurred," Professor Steffen said.
"There is no doubt we have entered an era of consequences arising from decades of climate inaction and delay. And it is going to get worse.
"It makes economic and ethical sense to cut emissions deeply and quickly because they're the reason we're experiencing worse weather and a worse economic cost."
The report also found the annual deaths due to extreme heat across the world in 2100 will eclipse deaths related to COVID-19 that were recorded in 2020.
Queensland was found to be the most vulnerable to economic damages following extreme weather events, with the losses from disasters since the 1970s three times the levels experienced in Victoria.
By comparison, the ACT ranked sixth for being the most susceptible to economic losses caused by natural disasters.
"Globally, the 2010s was by far the costliest decade on record for extreme weather catastrophes," the report said.
"Australia has faced relatively heavy costs relative to other countries.
"On a per-capita basis, economic damages from extreme weather disasters in Australia were around seven times the global average."
Professor Steffen said those living in Australia were five-times more likely to be displaced by a climate-change induced disaster compared to someone in Europe, while the rate was even higher compared to other areas.
"In the Pacific, that risk is 100 times higher" he said.
While the economic cost of extreme weather events has been calculated as high, former United Nations secretary general's special representative for disaster risk, reduction Robert Glasser said the true cost was even higher.
"Generally the cost only captures the immediate effects to houses and infrastructure," Dr Glasser said.
"The knock-on effects are huge, due to in some cases employment being lost or the psychological impacts that linger for years.
"Don't assume that the changes seen in the past 10 years will happen at the same pace in the next 10. They will happen faster."