Australia And Canada Form Climate Realist Alliance
The political leaders of Canada and Australia declared on Monday they won’t take any action to battle climate change that harms their national economies and threatens jobs.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott, made the statements following a meeting on Parliament Hill.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper both say there is no need for carbon pricing to combat climate change. Photo: Andrew Meares
Abbott, whose Liberal party came to power last fall on a conservative platform, publicly praised Harper for being an “exemplar” of “centre-right leadership” in the world.
Abbott’s government has come under criticism for its plan to cancel Australia’s carbon tax, while Harper has been criticized for failing to introduce regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada’s oil and gas sector.
Later this week, Abbott meets with U.S. President Barack Obama, who has vowed to make global warming a political priority and whose administration is proposing a 30-per-cent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 2030.
At a Monday news conference, Harper and Abbott both said they welcomed Obama’s plan. Abbott said he plans to take similar action, and Harper boasted that Canada is already ahead of the U.S. in imposing controls on the “electricity sector.”
But both leaders stressed that they won’t be pushed into taking steps on climate change they deem unwise.
“It’s not that we don’t seek to deal with climate change,” said Harper. “But we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth. Not destroy jobs and growth in our countries.”
Harper said that no country is going to undertake actions on climate change — “no matter what they say” — that will “deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country.
“We are just a little more frank about that.”
Abbott said climate change is a “significant problem” but he said it is not the “most important problem the world faces.
“We should do what we reasonably can to limit emissions and avoid climate change, man-made climate change,” said Abbott.
“But we shouldn’t clobber the economy. That’s why I’ve always been against a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme — because it harms our economy without necessarily helping the environment.”
Abbott’s two-day trip to Ottawa was his first since becoming prime minister and it quickly became evident he is on the same political page as Harper. They are both conservative politicians who espouse the need to balance the budget, cut taxes, and focus on international trade.
Just as Harper once turned to former Australian prime John Howard for political guidance, Abbott is now turning to his Canadian counterpart as a model.
Australia, Canada To ‘Forge Alliance’ To Counter Obama’s Green Agenda
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is seeking an alliance among “like-minded” nations to thwart efforts to introduce carbon pricing and American President Barack Obama’s move to push climate change through global forums like G20.
Abbott, who is visiting Canada for talks with the country’s prime minister and his close friend Stephen Harper, said efforts are underway to form a new “center-right” alliance under the leadership of Canada, UK, Australia, India and New Zealand.
According to reports, the five Commonwealth nations have “center-right” leaning governments but the closeness between Harper and Abbott is being regarded as the most significant alliance. The combination will attempt to move the pace of climate change action via policies like emissions trading or carbon tax.
Reports said the alliance is a “calculated attempt” to push back on what both Mr Abbott and Mr Harper sees as a “left-liberal agenda” to raise taxes and “unwise” plans to address the issue of global warming.
But Abbott said in a media conference that he thought climate change is a significant problem. But it’s not the “only problem” the world faces. He said the problem remains significant and countries should act based on what they think is best to reduce carbon emissions.
The prime minister said he was “encouraged” that Obama is looking at what he regards as a direct action measure to curb emissions and found it similar to what he proposes in Australia.
He said policies to address climate change should not hurt the economy. Harper agreed with the statement and said they want to deal with climate change “in a way that enhances our ability to create jobs and growth.”
Both leaders may not yield to pressure from the U.S. should Mr Obama revive the issue of climate change ahead of the annual climate summit.
In the previous week, Obama had flagged regulatory changes to influence U.S. states to address global warming by adopting “aggressive market interventions.” as decided to take climate change off G20 agenda. In December, Australia became the chair of G20, which is a group composed of 20 countries having the biggest economies in the world.
Britain Should Join Commonwealth Alliance Against ‘Unhealthy’ Climate Policy, Says Australian PM
Tony Abbott pushes for “conservative alliance” between Britain, Australia, Canada and India to limit “unwise” climate change action and resist carbon pricing
Mr Abbott called for limited action on climate change that would not ‘clobber the economy’
“Like-minded” countries such as Britain, Canada and India should form a conservative alliance with Australia to limit action on climate change and to prevent the introduction of carbon pricing, the country’s prime minister Tony Abbott has said.
Seeking to counter Barack Obama’s efforts for international action to reduce carbon emissions, Mr Abbott has reportedly sought to create a “combined front” with fellow Commonwealth nations that have conservative governments.
During a visit to Canada, Mr Abbott called for limited action on climate change that would not “clobber the economy”.
Like Canada’s prime minister Stephen Harper, who withdrew his nation from the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, Mr Abbott has dismantled his predecessor’s policies and moved to repeal Australia’s carbon tax. He is regarded as a climate change sceptic and once referred to global warming science as “absolute crap”, a comment which he later retracted.
h/t to Dr. Benny Peiser at The GWPF