The Australian PM wants Britain to join an anti-carbon pricing alliance with Canada, NZ and India
Tony Abbott, Australian PM, has been shaking hands with Stephen Harper, Canadian PM, saying “it’s like a family”. They are both skeptical of schemes that aim to change the weather through fake markets which don’t do much to reduce emissions, but do enrich financial houses, lawyers and bureaucrats. Harper has applauded Abbott before, now Abbott is returning the favor.
The message is aimed at David Cameron, British PM, who has been quite the friend of the greens — leaving a legacy of “collectivist, bat killing, bird chomping, property-rights-destroying wind farms”, as James Delingpole would say. But Cameron got savaged by the UKIP skeptics in the recent elections. Signing up with Obama won’t solve that headache.
Obama, meanwhile, is trying to swing momentum back to costly climate action with his aim to bypass congress and use an executive order to enforce a 30% cut in US emissions by 2030. He’s on his own. Even the Chinese are watering down expectations (see below). New Zealand abandoned Kyoto II and tied themselves to the lowest value carbon credits there are.
Sydney Morning Herald has the video
All five Commonwealth countries now have “centre-right”-leaning governments but it is Mr Abbott’s personal and philosophical closeness to Mr Harper that the Prime Minister regards as most important.
The combined front would attempt to counter recent moves by the Obama administration to lift the pace of climate change abatement via policies such as a carbon tax or state-based emissions trading. It is a calculated attempt to push back against what both leaders see as a left-liberal agenda in favour of higher taxes, unwise interventions to address global warming, and an unhealthy attitude of state intervention.
Mr Abbott’s first visit to the US has begun on a shaky note after he characterised Mr Obama’s new push to reduce carbon pollution as a copy of ”direct action” being pursued in Australia. Mr Abbott is due in New York on Monday local time.
In a statement certain to raise eyebrows in the US, Mr Abbott, who is to meet Mr Obama in the White House later this week, underlined his opposition to carbon pricing. ”There is no sign – no sign – that trading schemes are increasingly being adopted,” he said. ”If anything, trading schemes are being discarded, not adopted.”
“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.
Mr Abbott, who is hosting the G20 summit in Australia later this year, has been resisting efforts by US officials to put climate change on the agenda.He has insisted that the forum is designed to focus on the economy and that climate change will feature under other topics such as energy efficiency.
Can someone correct the Telegraph on this?
Polls in Australia show growing support for action to combat climate change, perhaps the result of recent record heatwaves.
The only poll showing any hope at all for the dying fear of a climate crisis was the Lowy poll which asked a few loaded questions and offered hardly any skeptical options for answers. All the other polls show a long downward slide. And the message shows up again and again that when people rate the issue, climate change is close to last. As for hot weather, in May Sydney had a record run of late Autumn warmth. I can hardly see that whipping people into a spending frenzy to prevent more episodes of global warming. It’s not like 22 days in a row above 22C is very scary. If it affected polls at all, the effect will be fleeting.
Meanwhile the Chinese are getting cold feet on carbon caps.
China is saying that the Chinese will be increasing emissions for a while to come, and they are not going to “impede growth”. As a developing nation they deserve special allowances, they say. This is clearly code for “don’t expect us to do anything”.
Reuters: – Any near-term regulation of China’s greenhouse gas emissions would likely allow for future emissions growth, a senior government official said on Monday, discounting any suggestion of imminent carbon cuts by the biggest-emitting nation.
Sun Cuihua, deputy director of the climate change office at the National Development and Reform Commission, said it would be a simplification to suggest China would impose an absolute cap on greenhouse gas emissions from 2016.
No decision had yet been taken on a cap and the timing of such a measure was under discussion, she said. Several options were being considered and China would choose policies in accordance with its conditions and stage of development.
“Our understanding of the word ‘cap’ is different from developed countries,” Sun told a conference.
An emission cap, whether imposed economy-wide or only on enterprises covered by a national carbon market, could be adjusted incrementally to allow for China’s status as a devloping country with growing energy consumption, she said.
Emissions have nearly quadrupled since 1990 as the coal-fuelled economy has grown by double-digits almost every year. China accounts for more than a quarter of total emissions.
The Australian opposition leader, Bill Shorten, threw his most intellectual arguments forward:
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten took aim at the Prime Minister’s ”flat-Earth views”, accusing him of being out of touch with Australians and world leaders such as Mr Obama. — smh