This article provides a comparative discourse analysis of the climate responsibility narratives of Australian and Norwegian political leaders during the period 2007–2012. The analysis focuses on how political leaders imagine their country's identity and role in the world and how they connect (or disconnect) these identities, roles and interests with responsibility for climate change, and with their respective energy policies. The analysis shows that the striking differences in mitigation ambition and responsibility discourses between Australia and Norway are clearly related, but cannot be reduced, to differences in their relative dependence on fossil fuel. Rather, differences in national identity and international role conception provide a far more illuminating account than a simple interest-based explanation. However, Australia and Norway are not quite so “poles apart” on their energy policies, and I briefly explore the implications of climate policy hypocrisy.