In a case of doubling down on a dastardly display, the Australian Government was today handed the Fossil of the Day award for an unprecedented fourth time in a row at the Warsaw climate negotiations.
This is getting silly, folks. It's almost like the new Australian Government is trying to compete with Commonwealth brother, Canada, for being handed the most fossils in a UNFCCC session.
After being handed their first fossil, on Monday, for refusing to make any new finance commitments, Australia has today gone even further with their nasty rhetoric, willfully and completely undermining the very concept of climate finance. The Australians said obligations for new, predictable and reliable finance from developed countries are “not realistic” and “not acceptable.” This is nothing short of an attack on an important cornerstone of the UNFCCC.
In the same statement, Australia said that climate finance “is not welfare transfer. Indeed. Climate finance isn’t welfare – it’s a moral obligation (sorry Australia, it might not be acceptable to you, but it’s true) and a legal commitment that developed countries have made because of their responsibility in causing climate change.
New, additional, adequate and predictable finance – which must primarily be public money if it is to reach the poorest countries and communities and meet UNFCCC obligations – is not an optional part of the UNFCCC. It’s a key building block without which the entire international climate architecture falls apart.
Whether or not this is Australia’s explicit intention in making its comments yesterday (we wouldn’t dare jump to conclusions), it clearly deserves a First Place Fossil award.