Cancun, Mexico – The United States took another 1st place Fossil on the last regular
night of Fossil of the Day awards in these United Nations negotiations, but with
strong competition from several other countries, and the overall worst country award,
the Colossal Fossil, going to its neighbor to the north, Canada, renamed “Can’t”nada
for the night. The United States held major pieces of the negotiations hostage waiting
for developing countries to agree to verify their pollution reductions, Russia further
endangered the Kyoto Protocol’s Second Commitment Period, and Venezuela and
Saudi Arabia teamed up to block a report on innovative sources of climate financing.
Mexico’s performance shone much brighter, exhibiting transparency and fortitude in
moving the negotiations forward, earning it a Ray of the Day in the first major climate
negotiations taking place in its own country, and scoring only the second, and likely
final, Ray of these negotiations.
The Fossils and Ray of the Day, as presented, read:
"Venezuela and Saudi Arabia receive the 3rd place Fossil for blocking a report on
innovative sources of financing for climate action, in the finance group of the LCA.
The report of the Secretary General’s Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance
(AGF Report) is a treasure trove of ideas and analyses of innovative sources of public
financing that can support developing countries with urgently needed adaptation and
emissions reductions actions. Perhaps Venezuela and the Saudis don’t realize that
there are developing countries elsewhere in the world that can’t count on oil exports
to pay for their luxuries and meet the needs of their people.
The report may not be perfect, but if parties start from scratch next year looking at
financing sources without input from this report, they may have to reinvent the wheel
and it could hold delay progress for years, if these same countries use all the tricks at
their disposal to disrupt progress."
"Russia earns the 2nd place Fossil. Oh, what a miserable year to be Russia. From
severe heat to dust storms raising awareness of climate impacts, it was a tough year
for anyone wanting to avoid cutting their greenhouse gas pollution. But, you managed
to pull it off, endangering the Kyoto Protocol by failing to inscribe your pledges under
the KP text. For that, you get a 2nd place Fossil and our continued shame."
"The United States of America earns the 1st place Fossil. The Fossil goes to the US
for blocking important text to ensure effective accounting measures for developed
country emissions targets. The US has held hostage all the other building blocks to an
agreement in MRV/ICA. Its refusal to accept good accounting measures for its own
(highly inadequate) actions is ironic and hypocritical."
"Canada wins the Colossal Fossil for the year. In Fossil terms, today’s winning
country is building a dynasty. Day in and day out, it gives 110% in the battle for fossil
supremacy. It blocks, avoids, delays, and fakes -- and its emissions simply never stop
growing. Its tar sands sector is truly among the global elite, an all-star of greenhouse
gas pollution. Please welcome the New York Yankees of Fossils (or as we say in
Canada, the Montreal Canadians): 2010’s Colossal Fossil is the country we’ve come
to know as “Can’t”nada. This is Canada’s fourth Fossil victory in as many years. So
despite an overall record of climate futility, Canadians should rest assured there’s at least one thing here that Canada is really, really good at."
"Mexico earns a Ray of the Day. As we saw in Copenhagen, transparency is not a
given in the UNFCCC process, although it’s supposed to be. Nor is intransigence a
requirement, although we see it much too often.
The role of a successful host country is to avoid these pitfalls and push Parties toward
a good and mutually agreed outcome, not just to save face, but to truly advance the
process. Mexico showed this and more, deeply involving itself in leadership of the
negotiations and demonstrating fortitude in the face of countries many thought could
never agree. For good process and transparency, strength, and perseverance, your
leadership earns you only the second Ray of the Day awarded in your home city."
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
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. The Ray of the Day, a newer award,
honors countries that have done something exceptional to move the negotiations