by Rhiannon Tuffield (Shepparton News)
The United States, along with such countries as Australia, will dramatically fall behind if climate change continues to be deferred, according to Goulburn Valley environmentalist, John Pettigrew.
as a leader who has repeatedly denied the pansies of climate change, American President Donald Trump’s announcement last week the US would with draw from the Paris Climate Agreement was hardly a surprise for Mr Pettigrew.
|John Pettigrew - disappointed, but not surprised|
by Donald Trump's Paris climate decision.
Despite his concern, the Goulburn Valley Environment Group president said the move would actually be a positive one for other countries, particularly China and the European Union.
Although he agreed the Paris agreement was important, he believed it was only symbolic, illustrated by the multitude of countries which had not yet met agreed targets, including Australia.
Scientifically, the Paris Agreement was never likely to deliver the immediate drastic changes researcher said the planet needed to avoid danger climate change, but it was a start to set a clear path for future emissions reductions.
“I’m disappointed (the US) pulled out, but I’m not convinced it’s going to make a lot of difference,” Mr Pettigrew said.
“There’s one argument that says it might prove to be a bigger incentive for other countries to do a bit more, because there will be positives for countries who do move early and adapt.”
Mr Pettigrew said countries such as France and China would become the biggest winners of the Trump decision and would most likely lead the way in areas of technology and manufacturing in renewable energy.
But he would see Australia falling behind as a result of the Federal Government’s slow movement on climate change.
“The opportunities for Australia are enormous, but the unfortunately the current thinking of our Federal Government is not moving us in that direction,” he said.
“What’s in place federally is not enough to meet the targets, out is not anywhere near securing a safe climate in the future.
“These impacts will come down to economics more than anything else, and I think if we lag behind in the research and development of these renewables, we’ll end up having to purchase them from China instead.”