Pocock said he felt compelled to take off the boots and dedicate his time towards addressing climate change. “It’s pretty dire, in terms of ambition and moral leadership on climate change,” he said.
“Particularly in a country where we probably stand to gain the most from action on climate. In terms of building a renewable, super power economy.
“We stand to lose more than any other developed country, in terms of inaction. We’re just so vulnerable. And that’s going to affect our farming areas and so much of this incredible country.”
Asked why he believes there has been insufficient action addressing climate change, Pocock pointed to one key factor.
“Vested interests in the fossil fuel industry. That has turned (climate change action) into a political thing,” he said.
“This shouldn’t be about politics. This is about a liveable future and looking after ourselves.
“We lead the world in extinctions, we’re doing a horrendous job of looking after dangerous species and it may seem like a real fringe issue to a lot of people but at the end of the day, we’re part of this nation. If this nation goes down, we go down with it.”
While Pocock is passionate about climate change and its impacts on Australia, he first wants to make a difference in a community dear to his heart through the Rangelands Restoration Trust, a charity in his native Zimbabwe that works to restore ecosystems.
“Our aim is to restore land people rely on. We’re trying to build a model where people are benefiting and able to make a living from the place that they live,” he said.
“And doing that in a way that creates habitat for wildlife.
“We’re faced with climate change, a loss of biodiversity and so this looks to address both of those through carbon sequestration, regenerating degraded land and increasing biodiversity by actually creating a local economy and businesses that get income from tourism or well managed livestock or whatever that may be.
“I’m keen to keep learning and try to build something that will be scaled and hopefully replicated in the future.”
Pocock declined to offer his thoughts on the Wallabies’ stance on the Black Lives Matter movement, given he is no longer a member of the team.
“I think it’s really up to the playing group,” he said.
“They’re the ones that are wearing the jersey and they’re the ones that have the decision to make as a team or as individuals. They should do what they want to do.”
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Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.