Australia's Trade Chief Thinks Obama's Climate Change Plan 'Lacks Substance'

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Steam rises from the stacks of the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant
Steam rises from the stacks of the coal-fired Jim Bridger Power Plant outside Point of the Rocks, Wyoming in this file photo taken March 14, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart/Files REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Australia's Trade Minister Andrew Robb has described U.S. President Barack Obama's climate change plan as having "no action associated with it." Robb said the president's bid to cut power-plant emissions in the U.S. "lacks substance."

In an interview with Sky News, Robb, who was accompanying Prime Minister Tony Abbott, said the plan was "just rhetoric" despite Mr Obama's plan of pushing for 30 per cent reduction on carbon emissions.

On June 12, President Obama had discussed the subject of climate change with Mr Abbott in a meeting at the White House. It was also Mr Abbott's first time to visit the United States since he won the elections in September 2013.

Mr Abbott, who has pledged as the "most dependable" friend of the U.S., is seeking to scrap Australia's carbon tax before the G20 Leaders Meeting in Brisbane in November. According to reports, the prime minister will not support Mr Obama's bid to influence China, India and other countries to form an international agreement to fight climate change.

Mr Abbott has refused to give in to the calls of the Obama administration to make climate change a top priority in the G20 summit.

According to reports, Abbott has previously described the studies behind climate change as "absolute crap" and moved to scrap carbon tax in Australia in favor of his Direct Action plan.

The Australian prime minister has sought an alliance with "like-minded" Commonwealth nations, but New Zealand and the UK have expressed their disinterest on the matter since both countries take climate change seriously.

Mr Obama said previously in a television interview that climate change may be the "most significant" long-term problem in the world. According to reports, his statements only highlighted the differences between the two leaders. However, Mr Abbott has insisted climate change is not the most important issue facing the planet today.He said Australia will do its part to address climate change but he is not going to "clobber our economy" and lose jobs over a "job-killing carbon tax."

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