Canada just more ‘frank’ than rest of the world on climate change: Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says there’s not a country in the world that would take action on climate change at the expense of its own economy — no matter what it might say.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says there’s not a country in the world that would take action on climate change at the expense of its own economy — no matter what it might say.

Canada wants to deal with climate change without crippling the economy, he said Monday at a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

“And, frankly, every single country in the world, this is their position,” Harper said.

“No country is going to undertake actions on climate change, no matter what they say … that is going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country.

“We are just a little more frank about that, but that is the approach that every country is seeking.”

Abbott, who is in Ottawa on an official visit, said every country should do what it thinks is best to deal with climate change.

“We think that climate change is a significant problem. It’s not the only or even the most important that the world faces, but it is a significant problem,” he said.

“It’s important that every country should take the action that it thinks is best to reduce emissions, because we should rest lightly on the planet.”

Abbott added he is “encouraged” by regulations introduced in the United States last week to chop carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 30 per cent by 2030.

Harper says Canada has actually done more to lower carbon emissions in its electricity sector than the U.S.

“The measures outlined by President Obama, as important as they are, do not go nearly as far in the electricity sector as the actions Canada has already taken ahead of the United States in that particular sector,” he said.

American approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to move Alberta crude to the Gulf Coast, has been stalled in the U.S. while the Obama administration drops hints that Canada must do more on the environment.

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