Abbott Meets Obama, Also Proclaims Self To Be A Conservationist

The main event of Prime Minister Tony Abbott‘s US visit was always going to be his meeting with the US President, Barack Obama. There was never any questioning of that fact. The pair were scheduled to meet, and rumour was rife that their vastly differing views on Climate Change would be a source of great friction and potential confrontation/disagreement. But their post-meeting media conference did not once bring the subject up, despite telling ABC Radio on Friday that he, Abbott, regards himself to be a “conservationist.”

You know. A conservationist. As in “one that practices or advocates conservation, especially of natural resources.” Yep. That’s ole’ Abbs to a tee. Y’know, if you ignore his policies on the Great Barrier Reef coal pointproposal to revoke the Tasmanian forests World Heritage status, and backing of the ridiculous Western Australian shark cull. If you ignore all of those then, yeah, he’s totally a conservationist.
The pair of leaders do indeed have vastly differing views on climate change action. Obama recently announced a 30 percent target cut in US emissions by 2030, achievable via a placing a price on carbon. Whereas one of Abbott’s key election platforms was to scrap a similar scheme implemented by the previous Labor Government. Abbott had held hopes of forming a bloc of like minded nations that had the power to potentially undermine international efforts to introduce carbon pricing, but it’s an effort that has been soundly rejected by his target nations, leaving Australia’s official legislative position quite isolated. Indeed, Abbott’s much dreamed about Coalition of the Unwilling* will not come to fruition.
Prior to meeting with Obama, former US Vice President Al Gore strongly stated that “history will not be kind” to politicians who stood in the way climate action.
Abbott’s meeting with Obama quickly turned into one of the more high powered meetings of global leaders afforded by the Oval Office in some time, with extra time allotted to the meeting and personnel such as Australian Ambassador to the US Kim Beazley, Abbott’s Chief of Staff Peta Credlin, US Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.
The US praised Australia’s increased commitment to military spending, citing our strong ties as an ally. The issue of the growing unrest and potential re-entry into Iraq was not discussed.
Photo: Mandel Ngan via Getty Images