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Britain Should Join Commonwealth Alliance Against Unilateral Climate Policy, Says Australian PM

Jonathan Pearlman, The Daily Telegraph

Tony Abbott pushes for “conservative alliance” between Britain, Australia, Canada and India to limit “unwise” climate change action and resist carbon pricing

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks on stage during his toast at a dinner hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa

Mr Abbott called for limited action on climate change that would not ‘clobber the economy’ Photo: Cole Burston/AFP

“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.

Standing alongside Mr Harper, Mr Abbott said: “We think that climate change is a significant problem, it’s not the only or even the most important problem the world faces but it is a significant problem and it’s important every country should take the action that it thinks is best to address emissions.”

Mr Harper said no country would take action that would harm the economy, adding “we are just a bit more frank about that than other countries”.

”It’s not that we don’t seek to deal with climate change,” he said. ”We seek to deal with it in a way that enhances our ability to create jobs and growth, this is their position.”

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