​New tool reveals potential cost of climate change

New system aims to increase consumer awareness around the dollar impact of climate risk

A new web-based commercial service will allow home owners and home buyers to check the dollar value of the potential climate change impact on their property.

The Climate Valuation Project utilises big data to assess a property’s risk of impacts from sea level rise and coastal inundation, and subsequently its safety and insurability.

The new system involves licensing probabilistic big data risk engines that are already in use for the assessment of billions of dollars of critical infrastructure in Australia.

Climatevaluation.com has been released in beta form for testing by research scientists before full market release later in 2016. Interested parties are able to get early access to the system via its Kickstarter project.

The beta system covers coastal flooding risks, while bushfire, wind storms and river flooding will be added later in the year.

The service requires users to enter the address and basic information about a property in order to determine three possibilities, utilising climate risk engines owned and developed by Climate Risk pty ltd.

This covers the probability of the land being flooded by high sea events; the projected increases in insurance premium (if available) from coastal inundation risk; and the projected percentage reduction in value of the property at the end of the mortgage (compared to the general market or other time point if selected).

According to Dr Karl Mallon who heads up the project, its modelling suggests a big spike of climate change impact in the near future, with tens of thousands of homes in Australia under increasing threat.

“Extreme weather risk is rapidly driving up insurance premiums and insurers are already refusing to cover large parts of Australia,” said Dr Mallon.

“Unbeknown to most buyers and owners, there are suburbs in every state where houses face a material reduction in value due to climate change compared to the general market.

Dr Mallon said The Climate Valuation Project aims to “lift the veil” on the link between extreme weather, insurance costs and house value to provide consumers greater transparency.

“We’re hoping this helps people make informed decisions about their safety and on what is often the most significant investment they will ever make – their home.”