TRANSITIONING TALK: US economist and thought leader on sustainable development, Bob Massie, will be speaking at a free public talk in Airlie Beach this Sunday, March 1.
TRANSITIONING TALK: US economist and thought leader on sustainable development, Bob Massie, will be speaking at a free public talk in Airlie Beach this Sunday, March 1.

Sustainability speaker to talk in Airlie Beach

US ECONOMIST and thought leader on sustainable development, Bob Massie, will be speaking at a free public talk in Airlie Beach about what must be done to prepare Australia's workforce and regional communities for the global transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energies.

Mr Massie is the outgoing president and CEO of the New Economy Coalition, whose mission is to support a just transition to a new economy that enables both thriving communities and ecological health. He is co-founder and first chair of the Global Reporting Initiative, the world's leading standard for corporate sustainability.

Mr Massie says from Germany to India and China to the US, the world's major economies are putting in place measures to reduce their reliance on coal "and Australia must seriously consider the wisdom of investing in a future based on coal exports".

"Australia is currently in a position to decide whether it wants to invest in the past or the future," he said.

"Australia must consider whether it's really wise to be doubling down on investment in coal when its major export markets are committing to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels in response to the climate change crisis."

Mr Massie says on the other hand, mining dependent regions, have the opportunity to embrace sustainable employment opportunities in new green industries such as renewable energy.

"Most importantly it is critical that workers in the coal industry are supported through re-training so they can benefit from job opportunities in new industries," he said.

Research released this month shows that solar power is already more cost effective than traditional fossil fuels and will soon be the cheapest form of electricity in the world.

Mr Massie's talk 'Morning tea with Bob Massie' will take place this Sunday, March 1, at Cafe One 3 on Waterson Way from 10.30am-noon.

The event is free of charge to attend but RSVP's are essential and can be made by calling Moira Williams 0450 944 114.