Australia and Canada's 'Axis of Carbon'
The world’s nations are closer than ever to reaching a universal treaty to tackle human-induced climate change, but Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are standing in the way of a global climate agreement.
At the recent UN Climate Summit in New York City, nations around the world advocated for strong measures to reduce climate pollution by 2020. A massive gathering of over 300,000 citizens marched in New York before the conference, calling on world leaders to do the right thing. Over 120 heads of state met in person to discuss this issue. Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper skipped out on the conference entirely.
Other governments, including those of the United States and European nations, want to use a universal carbon tax to make polluters pay. Economic and environmental experts say that a carbon tax would also boost clean energy opportunities worldwide, creating many new jobs and businesses. But Abbott and Harper are more interested in protecting large coal and oil corporations that are unsustainable in the long run.
Australia and Canada are already experiencing the cost of inaction. From heat waves and spectacular fires in Australia to record flooding and devastating forest blight in Canada, the impact of our changing climate is being felt right now. But thanks to entrenched government denial, the climate policies of Australia and Canada now rank last in the developed world according to Climate Action Network Europe’s 2014 Climate Change Performance Index.
In 2015, world leaders will meet in Paris for the UN Climate Change Conference, where they are looking to form a unified front on climate change and create a real global solution. The rest of the world needs Australia and Canada’s cooperation to fix this problem. Both nations are major coal and oil exporters, and if the governments take action to make polluters pay, they can help lead the way towards a brighter, cleaner future.
A majority of Australian and Canadian citizens want their governments to take the lead in finding a global solution to our dirty energy crisis. As a strong international Community, Story of Stuff supporters can speak together with a powerful voice to call on Prime Ministers Abbott and Harper to think about their environmental legacies. Nothing short of international cooperation can create the change we need. We need to be telling a story of hope, one of a brighter future -- not our dirty past.
Inside Climate News: Canada-Australia ‘Axis of Carbon’ an Obstacle to Climate Pact, September 23, 2014