Fossil of the day

Missing Money for the Green Climate Fund earns first Fossil from Lima Climate Talks

The first Fossil of the Day in Lima at the UN Climate Talks goes to Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Iceland, Greece and Portugal for being the only developed countries who have so far failed to contribute to the Green Climate Fund. After a string of encouraging initial contributions, it seems a few free-riders within Annex 2 believe they are off the hook on this one. Their intransigence translates into several billions of dollars missing in the fund’s coffer - that’s money not being spent helping developing countries reduce their pollution and adapt to climate impacts. This is not acceptable and stands to jeopardize the Paris agreement, under which all countries are expected to take action. To the free-riding ministers: Don't forget to sign your check before you land in Lima.

 

Topics: 

Australia awarded Fossil of the Day at UN Climate Talks for Trying to Reconvene Flat Earth Society

June 10 2014, Bonn - Germany: CAN bestows the first Fossil Award of the Bonn UNFCCC negotiation session to Australia in recognition of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's stupendously brazen denial of the catastrophic risks posed by climate change in his effort to form an alliance of "like minded" countries opposed to action on climate change, already dubbed by some as a new "flat earth society."   
 
News accounts report that the Minister has enjoined Canada in his new coalition and is reaching out to other countries including the UK and India "aiming to dismantle global moves to introduce carbon pricing."  
 
CAN salutes the Abbott's commitment and consistency in his willful blindness to the catastrophic economic costs incurred by climate change. 
 
He has also recently announced his intention to keep climate change out of the upcoming G20 talks hosted by Australia arguing that  climate change is inappropriate because such talks are primarily about economics.  
 
Prime Minister Abbott must have missed the IPCC memo which spells out that climate change is the economic problem facing our age - it's already costing us, but it doesn't cost the earth to save the world. 
 
He is clearly looking for recognition of his visionary approach to climate change, and CAN is proud to be among the first to step out and congratulate his dedication to the fossilized past.  [In case you were wondering – no, this isn't a joke.  Abbott has really done this.  Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.]
 
 
Notes to Editors: 
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 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. 
 
About the rays: CAN, gives out the 'Ray of The Day' award to the countries who are a ray of hope over the past days of negotiations at the UN climate change conference
 
 
Region: 
Organization: 

Colossal Fossil for Australia’s New Government

This year’s Colossal Fossil goes to Australia. The new Australian Government has won its first major international award – the Colossal Fossil. The delegation came here with legislation in its back pocket to repeal the carbon price, failed to take independent advice to increase its carbon pollution reduction target and has been blocking progress in the loss and damage negotiations. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

Canada is dishonored with a special Lifetime Unachievement Fossil Award for its long-standing efforts preventing this process from making a sufficient contribution to the fight against climate change. As long as Canada and the Harper Government puts their addiction to the tar sands first, Canada will continue to be a Fossil champion.

Canada’s record is in indeed unsurpassed – it is the only country in the world to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. And it did not event meet its pitifully lowered emissions reduction target announced in the lead-up to the Copenhagen COP. Canada’s stance is also rubbing off on other countries at the negotiations. Following Canada’s Kyoto “lead,” Japan abandoned its own 2020 target, and when Australia proposed to cut its carbon price, Canada cheered instead of staging an intervention. Canada you truly are a climate laggard... again... and again.

Singapore slinks to first Fossil for stingy stance on 2015 deal

The first place Fossil of the Day goes to Singapore for strongly opposing the inclusion of the clear elements of a roadmap to the comprehensive global climate action planned that needs to be agreed in 2015. The island city-state is blocking the development of framework to fairly divide climate action between countries. Furthermore, Singapore is promoting weak language in the text on the post-2020 carbon pollution reduction commitments, preventing national actions being integrated in a rules-based multilateral system. Despite being a member of AOSIS, Singapore is blocking progress towards the 2015 deal because of their unwillingness accept they must contribute to the solution.

Second place Fossil goes to U.S.A. We have been hearing that the Americans came here with a mandate to play a constructive role in the negotiations, which is not currently being reflected. They are blocking progress on a Long Term Finance pathway as well as an agreement on the relationship between the COP and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which are critical issues for developing countries. The U.S. is also being difficult around the establishment of an international mechanism on loss and damage, which was agreed at COP 18 last year. This is complete backtracking and a betrayal to the millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world.

Saudi Arabia wins the third place Fossil of the Day. Saudi Arabia wants to introduce the issue of “Response Measures” into the 2015 agreement. Response Measures is the about how countries like Saudi Arabia would be compensated for any loss in oil sales if the world decides to reduce the use of fossils fuels to solve climate change. It would be surprising to many to see Saudi Arabia asking governments for financial compensation when they have one the highest GDPs in the world for selling the substance that caused climate change in the first place. But Saudi Arabia is not interested in financial compensation. They just want to poison the negotiations. They are not fooling anybody.

Ray of the Day goes to Chile. The Alliance of Independent Latin American and Caribbean States (AILAC) has proven itself to be the gold standard in civil society engagement, moral integrity and simple logic by championing youth in the ADP and putting forward Intergenerational Equity. 

As Warsaw starts countdown to the last hours, India earns a Fossil for continuing to block on Equity

Photo: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

The first place fossil goes to India for continuing to be a spoiled sport on equity at the ADP sessions. The previous fossil to India was for their push to get the only mention of equity in the text to be deleted. At yesterday’s late night ADP session, India once again spoke against equity opposing South Africa’s proposal on the Equity Reference Framework and wanting to cancel the workshop on equity at the upcoming ADP session in Bonn. CAN certainly expects more from a party that showed promise of being an equity champion just two years ago in Durban, saying they could not see a future deal without equity embedded in it.

Plans to Axe Warsaw’s Only Fair Share Mention Gets Fossil for Five Countries, while Australia’s Schoolboy Antics Get a Fifth Gong


Credit: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

The first place fossil goes to India, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, and China for proposing to delete the only reference to equity in the ADP text!  (And for the wonks, we mean paragraph 9 in the ADP text).  Equity is key to the 2015 agreement and Parties must leave Warsaw with a clear understanding of how the ex ante review will be conducted. This includes – at a minimum - details on submissions, expert workshops, and the development of a technical paper on a basket of indicators covering: adequacy, historical responsibility, capability, and development and adaptation need).  Details that are really hard to achieve if you just delete the whole paragraph.  We were shocked that with all the discussions here and in Bonn, equity did not yield more than a passing reference in the first version of the ADP text.  The next iteration must expand and not ‘streamline’ references to equity.  To these members of the Like-Minded Group, we urge you to engage in the development of an ex ante review, rather than hovering over the delete button.

The second place in today’s fossil goes to Australia, who along with some other developed countries is impeding progress towards setting up an international mechanism on loss and damage here in Warsaw, as proposed by G77 and China. Trying to keep out key text elements proposed by more than 130 developing countries (such as on non-economic losses and permanent losses), delaying negotiation progress through procedural manoeuvres, and lacking a clear commitment to strong support provisions in the decision text is highly concerning.  Australia is the leader of those lacking constructive spirit.
 
We call on the other developed countries to work seriously for the needs of the most vulnerable countries and help in establishing an effective international mechanism on loss and damage here in Warsaw.

POLAND’s BLIND ADDICTION TO COAL EARNS THEM A FOSSIL

The COP host, Poland, earns today’s Fossil for undermining our chances to stay below a two degree global temperature increase by aggressively promoting coal. Coal is the largest contributor to the human-made increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere and the main cause of the current climate crisis.

In a cynical attempt to extend the social license of coal, the Polish government is endorsing an International Coal and Climate Summit, "the coal industry’s most important event of the year". As a part of this initiative the Polish Ministry of Economy, in cooperation with World Coal Association, developed "The Warsaw Communiqué", a statement claiming “there is a misconception that the use of coal is incompatible with meeting the challenge of climate change”, contrary to the fact that coal combustion is the largest contributor to the human-made increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere (the manifesto will be presented at the Coal Summit). 

As the UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres said at the summit today, most of the known reserves of coal will have to stay in the ground if we are to secure a safe climate.

Also, today 27 scientists released a joint statement discrediting "high efficiency coal" promoted at the coal summit. The scientists confirm that the unabated burning of coal will make it impossible to secure a safe climate. According to the International Energy Agency, two-thirds of proven fossil-fuel reserves must remain in the ground if we want to have any chance to stay below two degrees threshold.

Despite that Polish Prime Minister confirms that Poland "just as it was based on coal in the past, will be based on coal" in the future. Despite 80% of Poles thinking that climate change is a serious problem and the Polish government should do more to prevent it, the government is forecasting opening one of the world's biggest lignite reserves near Legnica, which would require 20,000 people to be relocated. A monster mine!

Poland could halve its coal demand, boost energy from renewable sources to over 25 per cent and create 100,000 jobs by 2030, but instead, the government plans to increase Poland's emission's even after 2020. 

In September, the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that his task is not to think about the future. He successfully turns his words into action destroying our future. All of this earns Poland today’s Fossil of the Day Award.

Contact:
Ria Voorhaar
Communications Coordinator
Climate Action Network-International
rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org
mobile: +49 157 3173 5568

Amateur Australians scoop fossil pool with finance furphy

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.

Kyoto's Legacy Up In Smoke As Japan Slashes Climate Action

      
Photo: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

Today, Japan slashed its 2020 emission reduction target - with the new pledge equating to a 3.1% INCREASE in pollution from 1990 levels. The UNFCCC is about  negotiating to raise the level of climate action, so this must be a bad joke! 

In 2009, Japan announced an emissions reduction of 25% below 1990 levels by 2020. We urge all Japanese delegates to read the IPCC report and do their math again and reconsider their commitment to this prehistoric target. The new target is a backwards step compared to Tokyo's pledge in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which was -6% from 1990. 

How is Japan expecting to contribute to raising the international level of ambition if the third largest economy says it can only increase their emissions? To add insult to injury, it looks like Japan, who has contributed to the climate crisis  and has the means to contribute to solving it, is trying to hide weak ambition behind strong rhetoric. There are no excuses, we know you can do better. We don’t want nuclear power and don’t want climate change. Please reconsider and come back with target that is really ambitious!

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 850 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced 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. 

Topics: 

Fossil deja vu as Aussies abandon their neighbors on loss and damage

   
Photo Credit: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

The First Place Fossil goes to – again - Australia. Withdrawing from climate action and finance for developing countries is already like a slap in the face of those suffering from the impacts of climate change. Simply expressing solidarity with the Philippines, as they did on Wednesday in the loss and damage negotiations, is not sufficient to repair the damage Australia caused.

Even worse, in the same negotiations, Australia gave a gold star performance in obtrusiveness.  Their first point was to attach conditions and list the things Australia would not broach talking about. This included objecting to rehabilitation funds – even though this is an area of work already agreed to last year.  Then Australia objected to provisions of insurance in the Convention process – even though insurance is even mentioned in the Convention. They insisted that the work programme on loss and damage should be ended when institutional arrangements are agreed, although many Parties have highlighted the usefulness of past work programme activities in their submissions, and a substantial discussion on the future activities has yet to happen.

Happily in contrast to Australia – the majority of other countries showed a constructive spirit. However, Japan gets a dishonorable mention for supporting Australia's obstructive and belligerent stance.

                                                       
                                                       Photo Credit: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

Region: 

AUSTRALIAN CARBON PRICE REPEAL DRAGS COUNTRY BACK TO THE FOSSIL ERA


Photo Credit: David Tong, Adopt A Negotiator

It has been millennia since the rumble of dinosaurs has been heard, but now in 2013 at COP19 to the UNFCCC we find ourselves among prehistoric fossils once more. 

Overnight, the Australian government tabled legislation to repeal effective climate policy. Instead they hope to bring in an almost Orwellian-named “direct action plan” which they claim will meet their paltry 5% reduction target. Though if it doesn’t, which most leading economists agree it will not, further funding or even a Plan B are low on the list of the new government’s priorities.

As well as repealing the carbon price (hence hurling Australia back into the abyss of time, as opposed to the more than 40 countries, states and provinces who have moved into the modern times with a carbon price), in equally grim news, the bills will also strip $435 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and remove $10 billion of investment in clean energy. This comes amongst uncertainty around Australia’s 2020 targets, with a lack of clarity on whether the new policy regime will meet 5% and a review of a review of a possible review to take place in 2015 as to any further commitments.

In an extra outrageous statement the Prime Minister Tony Abbott opened the new parliament with the bold claim to the Australian people that “as far as the government is concerned, the adults are back in charge.”  All of this earns Australia today’s first place Fossil of the Day award.

For the people who might not know this country, let’s us describe it a bit. This country has increased its carbon emissions 124% from 1990 levels. In the past few years, this country is recording the largest relative increase in annual carbon emissions. If you still don’t know what country this is, here is an other clue: this country is the 4th biggest coal investor in the world. If you still cannot figure it out, this is an Annex 1 country without any pledges. Also, this country has recently issued an exemption to all state owned electricity production companies on all environmental permits and legally binding environmental investments until 2021.

38% of this country’s electricity production comes from state owned plants. Have you guessed yet? Today’s second place Fossil goes to Turkey.

It seems that previous fossils were not enough for Turkey to take its responsibility so we're hearing rumours like the country has closed down their Interministrial Climate Change Coordination Council as well as they dismantling other institutions that have to work on climate change. But the last thing we saw from participant list was unbelievable. Turkey didn't bring one single person from the Ministry of Environment, even from Climate Change Department. We don't want to believe that Turkey came to UNFCCC for a tour of Warsaw’s sights. We also don't want to believe that Turkey is here with Ministry of Energy to participate to Coal & Climate Summit. We're giving this fossil to Turkey for their love of coal and dismantling climate policies and institutions but we also want you to know that you still have a chance to be loved. Now be responsible and take your pledge!

What is worse than appalling action on climate change? Having an appalling record on climate change AND congratulating others for their appalling climate policies. With Australia taking steps to dismantle its climate protection program and its carbon price, the Canadian government jumped at the opportunity to take Question Period talking points to the international stage. Canada’s rejection of carbon pricing in favour of an ineffective regulatory approach has been demonstrated to be the wrong way to actually get emissions down – with the government’s own estimate putting their projected 2020 emissions 20% above their Copenhagen target. We shake our heads in disbelief that a government publicly congratulates others on moving backward and dodging their responsibility on climate change while people are dying from climate impacts. That’s why we award Canada the Fossil of Disbelief today.

Pages