Fossil of the day

Australia, Austria, and New Zealand win Fossils

Australia wins Fossil of the Day at COP22 - 16 Nov 2016

Our first Fossil of the Day award goes to...Australia for making ugly complaints about dirty baggage. We don’t mean to gossip, but today the Australian Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was caught complaining to US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about American charities standing in solidarity with Australian communities who are fighting to prevent the construction of the largest ever coal mine down under - Adani’s Carmichael mine. Australia ratified the Paris Agreement last Friday, so lobbying for coal expansion at the United Nations climate negotiations is an ugly, ugly thing to be doing. Shape up, Australia.

Our second Fossil of the Day award goes to...Austria for dodgy lobbying and dragging down ambition. Despite no progress on emissions for over 25 years (!), Austria has lobbied hard to get maximum flexibility for LULUCF (Google it!) credits as part of the Effort Sharing Decision for EU 2030 climate targets. At the same time, the Austrian government has failed to make any kind of post-2020 financial commitment. Add it all together and it doesn’t reach the kind of ambition required by reality and of course, the Paris Agreement. Boo to you, Austria.

Our third and final Fossil of the Day award goes to...New Zealand for supporting dodgy carbon credits. Despite being involved in discussions to develop ‘high-integrity’ international carbon markets, New Zealand has been fronting up with ‘dodgy carbon credits’, 97 million (!) to be exact, to meet its obligations under the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This will allow New Zealand to use surplus credits to meet its totally limp 2020 emissions reductions target of 5% below 1990, without taking any real action to reduce its emissions. What, New Zealand? Are you trying to be Australia now?

Winter is Coming for the European Commission

Fossil of the Day Recap - COP 22, Day 8 - European Commission, Indonesia, New Zealand

Today’s first Fossil of the Day award goes to...the European Commission for its mean-spirited Winter Package! Leaked copies of their proposed renewable energy legislation - part of their festively named 'Winter Package' due to be published by the European Commission next week - are lacking the strong signal required to boost clean energy investment in line with the requirements of the Paris Agreement. The Package's renewable energy target of 27% by 2030 is barely an improvement on business-as-usual, and how it will be met in the absence of national targets is not spelled out at all. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Commission have gone full-on Scrooge and is proposing to scrap vital provisions that help anchor the continent's transition to renewable energy, giving the dirtiest European fossil fuel outfits an undeserved early Christmas gift. If European Commission President Juncker is serious about fulfilling his promise to make the EU “number one in renewable energy", then these proposals need to be substantially improved before they are published.

Our second Fossil of the Day award goes to...Indonesia for making bad plans, really really bad plans. The nation intends to boost its power generation by 35000MW by 2019 (which is good) but the government has said that 60% of this new capacity will come from coal (the bad part)! This comes just days after new UNICEF research showed that more than 300 million children worldwide, particularly in South-East Asia, are exposed to air pollution - largely due to the burning of the dirtiest fossil fuels like coal. Indonesia has included ‘clean coal’ in its NDC, but this kind of false solution will not help to reduce premature deaths from choking smog or climate change.

Our third and final Fossil of the Day award goes to….New Zealand for talking a big game on fossil fuel subsidies at COP22 but failing to live up to its own (good) advice on the home front. Today Mark Sinclair, New Zealand's Climate Change Ambassador, spoke up on the need to cut fossil fuel subsidies - hooray! However, New Zealand supports the oil and gas industry at home by providing tax breaks and funding scientific research to incentivise industry to commit to exploring in New Zealand waters - boo! This support amounted to a whopping $46 million NZD in 2012/2013 as identified by WWF New Zealand. In fact, despite the general understanding that 80% of fossil fuels needing to remain unburned if we are to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the New Zealand Government continues to advertise that "it aims to increase the value of New Zealand petroleum exports ten-fold from $3 billion to $30 billion a year by 2025". Oh dear. A fossil earned.

Venezuela, come on! Don't throw the baby out with the bath water

Special Semi-Fossil to Venezuela, but No full Fossil of the Day Award - Nov 11, 2016

November 11, 2016: Today’s a good day: there's no Fossil of the Day Award.
But a special honourable mention goes to ….Venezuela, for attempting to throw the baby out with the bath water. Look Venezuela, CAN completely agrees that fossil fuel companies should not be influencing negotiations at the UNFCCC, organizations making a business out of the carbon pollution that is choking our planet have no place in this process. BUT, and it’s a big one, DON’T lump civil society in with the fossil fuel stooges. We are living in a world where the voice of the people counts - civil society can help governments truly understand the needs of the communities and support the development of effective, relevant climate solutions. Flush that dirty water down the drain but keep the baby safe, Venezuela.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1200 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 countries 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. 

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The European Union Wins Big in Fossil Awards

Fossil of the Day to Europe at COP22 - Nov 10, 2016

10 November 2016: Today’s Fossil of the Day goes to...the European Union for peddling biofuels and acting like the person with all the gear but no idea. As a bloc of countries the EU has considerable economic and technological clout at its disposal to accelerate the just transition to 100% renewable energy. But unfortunately the EU acted today - during the agriculture negotiations - as if they were blind to their own potential. Even worse the EU served up a nasty smelling dish of false-solutions - like biofuels. The EU knows that the proliferation of biofuels DOES NOT RESULT IN ANY REDUCTION OF EMISSIONS, IT is driving illegal land-grabs, population displacement and an increase in food prices around the world - especially amongst communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. So, to relinquish this fossil and claw it's way back to being the climate leader it once was, the EU needs to take a long, hard look at itself - then recognise its potential to drive deep, transformative decarbonisation without REPLACING ONE PROBLEM WITH ANOTHER.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 115 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. 

Turkey gets a Fossil Award for asking for more climate money but no plans to cut coal use

First Fossil of the Day is Turkey #COP22 - Nov 7, 2016

November 7, 2016 Our first Fossil of the Day at COP 22 in Marrakech goes to….Turkey! Turkey was a nuisance at the international climate negotiations today by going all, “me, me, me!” Turkish negotiators requested an agenda item on financial support (again), derailing substantive discussions for much of the day, out of pure self-interest (again). Turkey is desperately seeking more funding for climate action under the Paris Agreement which is surprising because Turkey hasn’t even ratified this treaty! At the same time Turkey is making big plans to open coal plants in regions with water shortages and serious air pollution. So before making claims to financial support under the Paris Agreement, it would be great if Turkey could show the rest of the world where this money would actually go, by cutting support for dirty coal and getting on track to go 100% renewable. By winning this award, we hope Turkey will revise its approach to climate action and do more to realise its massive renewable energy potential- and yes, get on board with the 100 other countries who have ratified the Paris Agreement.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 115 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. 

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EU and Umbrella Group Win Fossil for Blocking Ambition Boost

Today’s first place Fossil of the Day Award goes to...the EU and Umbrella Group countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the USA). They take the prize for standing in the way of increasing ambition before 2020. If they shifted on their position, LMDCs would have to deliver on their promise to allow an opportunity to revisit all INDCs (with support) before 2020. Together these actions could help get us on track to keep warming below 2C degrees, and ideally 1.5C.

Our second place fossil award goes to all 196 countries! Yesterday in the meeting of the Committee of Paris, it did not seem like this was a negotiation for the people or for the planet but more about highlighting different short-term self-interests that governments have. Governments from across the world need to realize that this COP is an opportunity to steer the world to a fossil free future with 100 % renewable energy for all and shape the long-term future for a prosperous and safe world for all citizens rather than just their own.

The third place fossil award goes to the EU (again!) for total hypocrisy and inconsistency. The EU has been speaking against decarbonisation while at the same time putting up statements on aiming for below 1.5 °C rather than 2°C. Being in any way serious about staying even below 2°C means there is no space for any more new coal, while phasing out existing plants. The EU needs to phase out coal and focus on a just transition to renewable energy. We have heard this story a few times here in Paris and we don’t like it, not one bit.

We have a Ray of the Day award for the Maldives and the Philippines. It was extremely encouraging to hear these countries - both prominent members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum - say very clear yesterday that the Paris agreement needs to ensure countries come back to the table in 2018, ready to table new and improved targets. Otherwise we are locking a supremely insufficient level of ambition for up to 15 years and thereby closing the door on 1.5 in practice. Maldives and the Philippines - we are behind you on this one!

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Oil Lovers Win Fossil Award

COP21 Fossil of the Day 6 Winner: Venezuela and Saudi Arabia

Today’s Fossil of the Day Award goes to a pair of countries, a gruesome twosome, give it up for...Venezuela and Saudi Arabia! These countries are receiving a fossil for opposing decarbonisation in a crucial contact group, despite supporting the stabilisation of greenhouse gases - a worrying contradiction. Venezuela and Saudi Arabia seem to be reluctant to clean up their economies because they want to protect profits from dirty oil, no matter what the cost. Venezuela doubled down on low ambition when their head of delegation, Claudia Salerno, criticised the long term goal, calling it a slogan in a press conference.

Moving swiftly on we have an honourable mention to Malaysia and the Like Minded Group of Developing Countries (LMDCs) for championing civil society participation in this UNFCCC process. While civil society groups understand the need for closed doors for some stages of the proceedings, it is vital that observer experts are given access to the majority of the negotiations. LMDCs, we salute you.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 115 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.

This years Fossil of the Day Award ceremony is brought to you by host and comedian Dan Ilic and WoodyTV

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Saudi Arabia Win Big in Fossil Awards

COP21 Fossil of the Day 5 Winner : Saudi Arabia

Today’s first Fossil of the Day Award goes to...Saudi Arabia! The Saudi delegation here in Paris is doing its best to keep a meaningful mention of the 1.5 degree global warming limit out of the agreement. The Saudi’s are trying to torpedo three years of hard science, commissioned by governments, that clearly shows 2 degrees warming is too much for vulnerable communities around the world. Saudi Arabia is fighting tooth and nail to ensure the Paris agreement basically says, “thanks, but no thanks” to 1.5 degrees warming. A dishonourable mention also goes to India and China who are also trying to sink a safer temperature target, and the Arab Group for standing silently behind Saudi Arabia - despite the fact that people in all these countries stand to suffer as a result of their actions.

Our second Fossil is a joint award that goes to three stooges, Norway, the USA and Saudi Arabia...again. These jokers are threatening the heart and soul of the transition to a renewable energy powered world we want and need. They are trying to water down essential elements of a just transition (by moving them to the preamble in the text): safeguarding human rights, increasing food security, protecting ecosystem integrity, promoting intergenerational integrity, and increasing gender security. Wait...that’s not very funny. It would be great if some of the ambitious nations in the Arab Group - we know you are out there - would step up and tell Saudi Arabia that no-one is laughing.

For our third and final Fossil of the Day award we nominate Saudi Arabia, AGAIN! Their delegation seems to be happy locking us all into a world that will warm by around 3 degrees, way above any levels deemed safe by scientists. They are blocking a review of national climate action plans (known in UN-speak as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs) in 2018 or sooner, that would allow all countries to boost their ambition and bend the curve of warming further away from catastrophic levels. In doing so they are a ball and chain on the collective ambition of more than 150 countries who have submitted their INDCs. 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 115 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. 

 

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Lame Danes Win Fossil for Undermining Ambition

COP21 Fossil of the Day 4 Winner: Demark

Today’s Fossil of the Day Award goes to...Denmark! In the not too distant past Denmark was an inspiration for many - setting ambitious targets and rolling out wind energy. But today we are not talking about great Danes, we are talking about lame Danes, because today the Danish government are aiming to cut climate targets and shrink climate finance contributions.

The new, minority, Liberal government of Denmark got into power in July and clearly thought there was too much climate leadership going on. So they decided to dial it down, right down.

As negotiators in Paris work to deliver a durable and ambitious climate regime - the Danish Environment Minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, declared he is in favour of scrapping his country’s ambitious national carbon reduction target of 40% by 2020. Signalling his government’s intent to put the handbrake on as other countries around the world gear up to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy future.

While looking to cut their own ambition, the Danish government also seems to want to restrict the ambition of less wealthy nations too. The new government has a steady stranglehold on climate finance - squeezing the budget from an initial 500 million Danish Krone, which is around 72 million US dollars, to a projected 39 million US dollars next year. That is hardly enough to buy a coffee in Copenhagen!

Contact: Mark Raven, Communications Coordinator, Climate Action Network-International

mraven@climatenetwork.org

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 115 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. 

This years Fossil of the Day Award ceremony is brought to you by host and comedian Dan Ilic and WoodyTV

Climate Vulnerable Forum Shines with Bold Call for 100% Renewable Energy

COP21: The Second Ever 'Ray of the Day'

To be fossil worthy you must be cowardly, you must shake with a limp wrist SO we’re not giving out a fossil today, instead we’re giving a Ray of the Day and despite the name we do not give them out everyday.

The Ray is a rare thing it’s only given out when extra-ordinary things happen. Last night at 6pm, there was a high level meeting of 43 nations from the Climate Vulnerable Forum and where they made a bold, ambitious declaration to do something amazing. These countries that are the most vulnerable have decided to not play the victim, but instead show the kind of leadership that the rest of the world can learn from.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum have declared that they support a Paris agreement that aims to achieve full decarbonisation of our economies, so they can run their countries on 100% renewable energy, by mid century 2050! They are leading the way in setting course for a safer world, with only 1.5 degrees of global warming. As well as demanding proper support for communities hit hardest by climate impacts.

This declaration is so big, so bold, that it makes lots of the other countries...look like fossils.

Let’s hear it for the countries of the Climate Vulnerable Forum!

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 115 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. 

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