The Leadership Development Program (LDP) is one of CAN’s cornerstone programs that aims to strengthen its national and regional nodes and build professional leadership within the network....
Photo credit: Sarah Rifaat
Video Production: BunkerFilms.com
Photo credit: Sarah Rifaat
Durban, South Africa – Canada wins a first place Fossil of the Day Award. Canada’s position has been clear when it comes to Kyoto – without movement from large industrializing emitters, Canada will not budge. Over the weekend you may say that China called this bluff by announcing openness to a more flexible position at the climate talks. Unfortunately, it seems Canada is not prepared to live up to its end of the bargain – with the Minister saying that even if China moves, Canada’s position is set in stone.
In addition to having this fossilized position – Canada’s minister also seems a bit confused in his messaging, saying that all major emitters have to be on board in order to, “prevent global warming hitting or exceeding two per cent.” Two per cent? Two degrees? Facts don’t seem to matter when your mandate is to protect polluters and not people.
Perhaps the Minister has confused two degrees with two percent because one of this government’s top lines to avoid action is to say they are only responsible for two per cent of global emissions. Important to note is that Canada is in the top ten global emitters no matter how you cut it: per capita, absolute and historically.
About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.
#1 RUSSIA & NEW ZEALAND
DEFYING COMMON KP SENSE
#2 SAUDI ARABIA
FIXATED ON RESPONSE MEASURES
#3 UNITED STATES
SLOW WALK TO THE CLIMATE ABYSS
Video Credit: BunkerFilms.com
Fossil of the Day Awards on 5 December from COP17 in Durban.
Video Credit: BunkerFilms.com
Durban, South Africa – The second week of the United Nations climate change negotiations began with a heavy dose of Fossils. New Zealand and Russia shared a rare joint Fossil in First Place for wanting to benefit from a continuation of the Kyoto Protocol without being bound by it. Saudi Arabia earned Second for putting payments to its oil habit over mitigation to stop climate change. The United States won 3rd for not doing much of anything, as usual. The Fossil as presented read:
“The United States of America earns the 3rd place Fossil. The United States is trying to stop progress in Durban and is succeeding in catalyzing a movement against them as they delay, obstruct, and sabotage good faith efforts toward a deal.
While some of President Obama's policies on climate change are better than his predecessor, George Bush, US engagement in the talks remains nonconstructive.
In 2008 then candidate Obama said: 'We know what needs to be done. We know that our planet's future depends on a global commitment to permanently reduce greenhouse gas pollution.' Bold words, but bold action has not followed at the global level.
- Now in Durban the US is proposing an alarming proposal to lock in a ten-year timeout with no new targets to lower emissions until 2020.
- Using transparency as a stick to beat other countries with. They insist that transparency is a top-line requirement even while ducking questions about their own transparency measures. When asked today what analysis the US had done about its own reporting that was agreed to in Cancun, Todd Stern said awkwardly 'we're working on it'.
- They say they have no problem with a legally binding agreement, but then go on to list condition after condition -- many of which fly in the face of the original UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
IPCC scientist turned US negotiator, Jonathan Pershing, assures us that there are an 'infinite number of pathways' to stay below 2 degrees of warming that require only current agreements – we kindly invite him to name one and enlighten us all.
Now is the time for President Obama to remember his words from before he occupied the Oval Office: 'The threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing. Our generation's response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it – boldly, swiftly, and together – we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe..... the time we have to reverse this tide is running out."
We call on Todd Stern and the US Delegation to follow through on these words, to act boldly, swiftly, and together -- something they have failed to do over the past week.”
“Saudi Arabia earns the second place Fossil of the Day.
'Maybe we don't need the mitigation measures.' - This was the statement by the Saudi Arabian negotiator this morning in the LCA stock-taking plenary.
Saudi Arabia continues to insist that work on its particular pet issue of response measures (code for compensation to be paid to oil-producers) is just as important as a full global response to fighting climate change with mitigation measures.”
“New Zealand and Russia share the 1st place Fossil.
Russia earns the Fossil for opposing the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and for trying to carryover the hot air emissions credits into the same second commitment period, both at the same time, although it is hard to explain logically.
Meanwhile, New Zealand has been acting inconsistently in the KP negotiations. It has insisted that it could not constitutionally agree to provisional implementation of a second commitment period despite its internal policy stating that it can.
Further, the Government formally announced on 30 November that interim Environment Minister Hon. Nick Smith would be attending COP-17, only to change its mind on 1 December. New Zealand has also blocked discussions on carry over, wanting enough carry over to fully cover five years’ worth of LULUCF emissions.
Ultimately, this series of events has led to other negotiators describing New Zealand as 'deliberately inconsistent' and 'problematic for a thousand reasons', with its 'extreme positions on a number of issues [making] it difficult to reach consensus on anything'.”
Video Production: BunkerFilms.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 2, 2011
Durban, South Africa
David Turnbull, Director, CAN-International
Home mobile: +1-202-621-6309
Local mobile: +27 (0)78 889 6827
Durban, South Africa – Brazil earned its first (and First Place) Fossil in Durban for suggesting that its potential forest law would actually help it reduce greenhouse gas pollution. New Zealand, similarly, took its first, and Second Place, Fossil for overly acrobatic flexible mechanisms to help them earn emissions reduction credits. Canada, no stranger to the stage in Durban, stood at Third Place, for celebrating its earlier fossils and suggesting that the massive body of climate science and policy they were based on were biased. The Fossils as presented read:
“The 'informed' and 'survival-driven' award Canada with a 3rd place Fossil of the Day.
Canada’s Environment Minister, Peter Kent, stated yesterday that the fossils awarded to Canada this week came from the 'uninformed' and the 'ideologically driven'.
Yet, from the perspective of people on the frontlines of global climate change, it would seem that Kent is one of the most 'uninformed' Environment Ministers in the world. Rather than acknowledge its historical responsibility for climate change and work with other nations towards finding solutions, Canada seems to be ideologically driven to put polluters before people and profit before a healthy planet.
When Canada’s fossils were announced in the House of Commons, a round of applause broke out. Is the Canadian government laughing about death, starvation, and displacement?
If Peter Kent were in Durban right now, he would know that no one is laughing here. In fact, other countries are condemning Canada for negotiating in bad faith. Canada is leaving the world no choice but to leave them behind here in Durban.”
“The 2nd place Fossil goes to New Zealand for proposing the most Flexible Mechanism imaginable with no oversight or review. Bring on the wild west. They want to be able to use any market mechanisms they wish with absolutely no oversight or international review! There would be no way to ensure that the units from one mechanism have not been sold two or three times to another such mechanism. This would likely unleash a wild west carbon market with double or triple counting of offsets and a likely increase of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.”
“Brazil earns the 1st place Fossil. As the world watches stunned by the lack of urgency in the negotiations in Durban on the search for a global solution to a global threat, some countries are capable of a level of cynicism and disregard for the consequences of their actions which leave us bewildered.
This time it is Brazil. Yes, Brazil the same country that hosted the Earth Summit in 1992 that gave rise to the Climate Convention and later to the Kyoto Protocol.
The same country that will host the Rio+20 meeting next year. To what end we ask?
If the new Brazilian forest law, now going through congress, is approved as is, it will be a disaster for the Brazilian forests, for the climate, for the indigenous people in the amazon and elsewhere, for the preservation of biodiversity and priceless environmental services.
What is Brazil asking for here, if back home the new law creates the opportunities for an increase in greenhouse gas emissions many times Brazil´s total emissions today.
Actually, the negative the impact of the new law has already began and the law has not even gotten the final vote in the house and the senate.
When the Ministry of Environment announced this week that the new law will help Brazil meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal, CAN sees no other alternative other than to present Brazil with our most notorious award – the Fossil of the Day.
Apparently the Minister of Environment has 'delayed' her trip to Durban because of the negotiations of the forest law in the congress. We heartily welcome the Minister to come to Durban, receive this award and to explain to the world how cutting down trees reduces emissions of greenhouse gases.”
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org
About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999 in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.