The high-carbon bromance between Stephen Harper and Tony Abbott has led Inside Climate News to brand the duo the "Axis of Carbon."
...these two governments, with their energy-rich domains sprawling across
opposite ends of the earth, will present strikingly similar defenses against what much of the rest of the world is offering. And their stance is earning them opprobrium among advocates of strong and immediate action.
While a consensus is forming around setting a price on carbon and urgently converting to a carbon-free economy, Canada and Australia have turned themselves into an axis of carbon. If they attract others, this axis could become a potent force standing in the way of progress toward a universally binding pact.
It’s not terribly surprising that these two countries have staked out political positions as far from the mainstream as their continental edges are from the equator.
...Canada and Australia might well be ostracized as among the worst shirks.
Two European environmental organizations, the Climate Action Network Europe and Germanwatch, ranked Australia next to last and Canada last among developed nations in their 2014 Climate Change Performance Index.
The ranking takes into account both the actual emissions of greenhouse gases and the governments’ policies. After an election that brought Abbott to power on a promise to abolish a new tax on carbon, Australia scored worse than usual on the policy side
Canada, for its part, “still shows no intention of moving forward with climate policy and therefore remains the worst performer of all industrialised countries,” the report said.
Both countries are major sources of fossil fuels for the rest of the world. Canada is the world’s biggest exporter of oil to the United States and is pushing hard to win new export markets. Australia is the 10th biggest producer and second biggest exporter of coal in the world.