Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has re-enforced Australia's commitment to the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the wake of the announcement.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has re-enforced Australia's commitment to the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the wake of the announcement. Mark Schiefelbein

Call for action in wake of Trump's withdrawal

CLIMATE change was a problem that extended beyond national and state borders and one globally that was an issue leaders had a moral responsibility to address according to Professor Tim Smith, director of the University of Sunshine Coast's Sustainability Research Centre.

Prof Smith was reacting to US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Change accord, citing domestic economic interests as the driver of his decision.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has re-enforced Australia's commitment to the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the wake of the announcement.

Prof Smith who has provided research to a number of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports said short-termism was not in the long-term interest of the planet or its communities.

"It's just another example of trying to stall action crucial to ensuring the future sustainability of the planet," he said.

"Policy making is becoming increasingly disconnected from evidence leading to uninformed decision making."

Prof Smith said we now knew that unchecked climate change would cause systemic collapse putting hundreds of millions of people at risk.

"In the coastal zone it will affect more than 250 million people by the end of this century," he said.

"We know these things are happening, where they are likely to happen and to what extent.

"And we also know what is required to take action and that these actions are not being prioritised by governments."

Prof Smith said the Director General of the United Nations had called for global unity on climate change and a strong desire for action remained in many countries.

"Governments that think they can play games with the planet need to understand that game results in a lose-lose situation," he said.

"Short-term economic gains are being traded off against the planet's future.

"It is just an excuse for inaction.

"What they don't realise is that without the environment there is no economy. Government's need to stop using the economy as an excuse for a lack of action on critical global challenges."


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