Brazil Takes 1st, New Zealand Earns 2nd, Canada Comes in 3rd

Fossil of the Day Awards, Durban - 2 December (COP17)

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.
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 (, 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.