Canadian, Aussie PMs douse talk of carbon tax 0
Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R) and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott hold a joint news conference after a meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 9, 2014. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle
OTTAWA — Canada and Australia will oppose any attempt by U.S. President Barack Obama to put a carbon tax or similar scheme on the agenda at the next G20 leaders' summit.
"We should do what we reasonably can to limit emissions and avoid climate change, man-made climate change, but we shouldn't clobber the economy," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday while visiting Ottawa. "That's why I've always been against a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme because it harms our economy without necessarily helping the environment."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper took a similar stand against carbon taxes at a joint news conference with Abbott.
"No country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country," he said. "We are just a little more frank about that, but that is the approach that every country is taking."
Australian media has reported Obama wants Abbott to put global warming on the G20 agenda in Brisbane this November.
Abbott, however, says the Australian government has bigger fish to fry.
"We think that climate change is a significant problem," he said. "It's not the only, or even the most important problem, that the world faces, but it is a significant program."
Abbott is in the midst of trying to fulfil his campaign promise to repeal Australia's carbon tax.
Back in March, the country's Labour-dominated Senate rejected a bill to kill the tax Abbott calls "an act of economic vandalism."