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Jobs trump climate: Harper, Abbott

AFP-JIJI

Canada and Australia’s conservative prime ministers said Monday economic concerns trump climate action, with Ottawa’s Stephen Harper insisting any nation claiming otherwise is lying.

“It’s not that we don’t seek to deal with climate change, but we seek to deal with it in a way that will protect and enhance our ability to create jobs and growth and not destroy jobs and growth in our country,” Harper said.

“And, frankly, every single country in the world, this is their position: No country is going to undertake actions on climate change, no matter what they say . . . that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country.

Visiting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is on a trade mission to North America, acknowledged that climate change is “a significant problem.” But he added, “It’s not the only or even the most important problem that the world faces. “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,” he said.