Paris withdrawal ‘deplorable’

June 16, 2017

Terry Court and John Pettigrew from the Goulburn Valley Environment Group.

Local environmentalists have levelled criticism at the United States’ withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

Tatura-based environment advocate Terry Court described the withdrawal announced recently as a ‘‘deplorable decision’’ which signalled an ‘‘outstanding’’ denial of climate change.

American President Donald Trump will withdraw the US from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change, a move which has fulfilled a major campaign pledge but drawn condemnation from American allies and business leaders.

Mr Trump, tapping into the ‘‘America First’’ message used when he was elected president, said the Paris accord would undermine the American economy, cost American jobs, weaken American national sovereignty and put the country at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world.

Australia remains committed to the historic Paris climate change agreement.

‘‘I think you’ll find most Americans don’t agree with what he’s done on this issue,’’ Mr Court said.

He said it was essential Australia continued to support the agreement.

‘‘Locally we must continue to take action as best we can at every level to combat the biggest threat to mankind, that is climate change,’’ he said.

Mr Court believed the decision by the US might have made the impacts of climate change more prominent in the minds of the region, reinforcing there was always more to do.

‘‘However little, we can do more. It has heightened awareness given most of the rest of the world ultimately disagrees with his actions,’’ Mr Court said.

Transition Tatura’s Ross Musolino agreed the President’s move could serve to reinforce sustainable behaviours locally, among a community, which remains ‘‘pretty wise to what’s going on’’.

‘‘It certainly sends a very poor message to a lot of people less in the know, people sitting on the fence,’’ Mr Musolino said.

‘‘And I think you get a lot of people who are in two minds whether to believe (climate change) or not.’’

He said such decisions undermined the work of groups such as Transition Tatura, that were ‘‘trying to get the message across’’.

— with AAP

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