Saudi Arabia Earns 1st Place Fossil of the Day for Trying to Silence Civil Society

Cancun, Mexico – Saudi Arabia earned the 1st place Fossil of the Day for trying to limit civil society’s participation and voice in the negotiations. This is Saudi Arabia’s second Fossil at the Cancun negotiations. On Wednesday, it shared a 1st place Fossil with Norway, Kuwait, Algeria, UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, & Jordan for proposing Carbon Capture and Storage in the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. No other countries received a Fossil today.

The text of the award reads:
“The first place Fossil is awarded to Saudi Arabia.  We assume that Saudi Arabia was included in the consensus that led to last year’s statement by the SBI recognizing the ‘fundamental value’ of effective public participation.  We also understand that Saudi Arabia is still a party to the Convention, which also recognizes the role of observers.  
So today we applaud Saudi Arabia’s audacity in suggesting, in today’s informal on enhancing the engagement of observers, that observers are actually over-represented in the UNFCCC process. Relying on registration statistics from COP15 in Copenhagen, the delegate suggested that the large number of NGO observers there, and of side events in Cancun, is somehow relevant to the effectiveness of our participation.  Stating that the delegates had other ‘important things’ to spend their time on, Saudi Arabia ‘wonder[ed] if there is really a pressing need at this time to dedicate time and resources to further enhance [public] engagement.’
For its audacious attempt to limit participation, we award Saudi Arabia the first place Fossil.  (Following the spirit of Saudi Arabia’s intervention, we have not invited them to actually receive this award.)”

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. 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.

 

Over a Dozen Countries Share Fossils for Carbon Capture & Storage and “Hot Air”

Cancun, Mexico – From Norway to New Zealand and Algeria to Australia, thirteen countries shared the “prize” of two Fossils of the Day for promoting carbon capture and storage in the Clean Development Mechanism, and trying to preserve the “hot air” of surplus Assigned Amount Units in future commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Fossils as presented read:

“The 2nd place Fossil is awarded to Ukraine, Russia, New Zealand, and Australia for blocking the discussion of solutions that would prevent surplus Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) from fatally weakening the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Let's be honest: the huge Kyoto surplus in Ukraine and Russia arose from a mistake in the estimate of projected business-as-usual scenarios and not due to the implementation of effective climate change mitigation policies.

If the issue of surplus AAUs is not adequately addressed, developed countries can continue on a business-as-usual pathway. CAN questions the continuation of international emissions trading as a mechanism after 2012 if the Kyoto surplus issue is not fully addressed. This was addressed in Australia’s own draft emissions trading scheme, so it is surprising that they are not working constructively to find a way to ensure that those who have deepened their emissions reductions can be rewarded for doing so in a way that does not compromise the environmental integrity of future commitments.”
“The 1st place Fossil is awarded to Saudi Arabia, Norway, Kuwait, Algeria, UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, & Jordan for continuing to block progress in the negotiations by proposing the inappropriate inclusion of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol.
This proposal was made in the CMP Plenary by Saudi Arabia and supported by a number of countries including Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and Jordan. It reflects a similar proposal yesterday supported by Norway.
They claim that CCS is already a proven, viable technology – which it currently is not – whereas the other technologies included in the CDM can facilitate clean and green development for developing countries.”

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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. 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.
 

Japan Wins 1st (and Only) Place Fossil of the Day for Trying to Kill Kyoto Protocol

Cancun, Mexico - Japan received the dubious distinction of being the only government to win a Fossil of the Day award today for its efforts Monday to prevent the continuation of a protocol to the United Nations climate convention that was agreed to in its own city of Kyoto. This comes not two months after a new protocol and other agreements were reached in Nagoya, Japan at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

The text of the award reads:
“Japan wins the 1st place Fossil of the Day. When leadership is needed most, the home country of the Kyoto Protocol made a destructive statement in the AWG KP Plenary yesterday. It factually rejected the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol by saying ‘Japan will not inscribe its target under the KP on any conditions or under any circumstances’. ‘Preferring’ a single-treaty approach is one thing, but aggressively denying the future of Kyoto in opening plenary is another. The statement upset many parties and created an unconstructive atmosphere for the negotiations. This COP was supposed to be the place to rebuild trust among parties. Japan's move is most unwelcome.”

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Canada Sweeps 1st Cancun Fossil of the Day Awards for Year of Climate Inaction

Canada receives the 3rd place Fossil for a spectacular, year-long effort to regain its title of ‘colossal fossil’ as the country making the least constructive contribution to the negotiations.

In January, Canada backed off of a weak target to adopt an even weaker one, as part of the government’s plan to outsource climate policy to the United States. Canada’s plan to meet that target is, to put it nicely, still being written. And the guy they’ve just put in charge as Environment Minister is John Baird; COP veterans might remember him as the solo holdout against science-based targets for developed countries at the end of Bali.
 
Canada also receives the 2nd place Fossil. We’ve already heard that Canada doesn’t have a plan to cut emissions. What it does have is a plan to cut a lot of other things, such as:
 

  • the only major federal support program for renewable energy
  • a program funding energy efficiency upgrades for homeowners
  • funding for Canada’s climate science foundation
  • climate change off of the G8 and G20 agendas when Canada played host this summer, and last but not least...
  • clean fuels policies in other countries. Internal government documents released today reveal that Canada worked to “kill” a US federal clean fuels policy to protect its tar sands, working with allies like the Bush administration and Exxon.

With friends like that, who needs clean energy?

 
Finally, Canada wins the 1st place Fossil. Some might think the US Senate wasn’t too helpful on climate change. But today’s Fossil winner has a Senate that makes the US look good, and not just because these Senators aren’t elected. In this country, Conservative Senators killed a progressive climate change bill without even bothering to debate it, something that hasn’t happened for at least 70 years. This leaves their country without a science-based target or any domestic transparency program for the 2020 target the government has brought to these talks. Where can we find that fossil-worthy Senate? In a shocking twist, it’s Canada again!
So Canada is starting off with a substantial lead, taking three prizes today. Killing progressive legislation, cancelling support for clean energy and failing to have any plan to meet its target all position Canada well for another two weeks of ignominy here in Cancun.

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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. www.climatenetwork.org <http://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 <http://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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New Zealand

 

A fossil is awarded to New Zealand, as an ambassador for all Annex I Parties, for bluntly declaring that if they don’t get the rules they want on forest management, they’ll have to change their overall emission reduction target. Does this mean that the LULUCF sector is just a slush fund and Copenhagen pledges are open for renegotiation if the slush fund disappears?

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Fossil Delivery!

Since the Climate Talks in Bangkok this year, Fossils has gone local!  If you and your group have made some local deliveries, please send us your footage and photos. We'd love to hear from you and any feedback. Here are a trio of Aussies from GetUp! Action for Australia who  took some time out to award Kevin  Rudd at the Australian Museum during COP15.

A final farewell from Copenhagen, until we meet again at the next Conference of the Parties... Merry Christmas and have best wishes in the New Year!

Climate Shame As Canada Named "Colossal Fossil"

Naming Canada as "Colossal Fossil" at the boldest, most audacious Fossil Award ceremony to date, tuxedo-clad Ben Wikler of Avaaz.org said: "Fossil of the Year goes to CANADA, for bringing a totally unacceptable position into Copenhagen and refusing to strengthen it one bit. Canada's 2020 target is among the worst in the industrialized world, and leaked cabinet documents revealed that the governments is contemplating a cap-and-trade plan so weak that it would put even that target out of reach. "Canada has made zero progress here on financing, offering nothing for the short term or the long term beyond vague platitudes. And in last night's high-level segment, Canada's environment minister gave a speech so lame that it didn't include a single target, number or reference to the science. "Canada's performance here in Copenhagen builds on two years of delay, obstruction and total inaction. This government thinks there's a choice between environment and economy, and for them, tar sands beats climate every time. Canada's emissions are headed nowhere but up. For all this and more, we name Canada the Colossal Fossil."

Day 10: Australia Takes 1st Place for Bullying Tuvalu and Other Small Island States

2nd/3rd Place (tie) Canada, Australia and Japan were awarded Fossil of the Day because of their inability to even keep up with the US on long-term climate finance. These guys are pretending to behave like poor third world countries with no money that are reeling under the impacts of climate change. Both Canada and Australia have been trying to hide behind the low ambitions of the US and they have tried their best to not be constructive at COP15.  Whilst Santa's sack could be overflowing with the gift of responsibility this Yuletide, Japan has so far just repackaged discarded gifts from last year.  Much of it's short-term finance announcement will come from pledges it made a while back, and very little clarity on it's additionality.  If the US can take a step forward, then, Canada, Australia and Japan have no one else to hide behind. Luckily, there’s still some time left and we look towards these countries with some hope that they might come out with a strong position on this. 1st Place Australia
 has been awarded a First Place Fossil of the Day Award for putting pressure on Pacific Island nations--and Tuvalu in particular--to agree to 2 degrees and 450 parts per million of CO2. You know, when we see one of the world’s most vulnerable nations take the kind of bold actions that we saw Tuvalu take last week, our hearts are warmed and we are filled with inspiration. And maybe that’s why we were so discouraged and angry to learn that Australia, one of Tuvalu’s bigger, richer neighbors has been acting like a big bully and asking Tuvalu to give up on its strong commitment to a legally binding agreement that keeps the world to 1.5 degrees of warming and 350 ppm. Have no fear, dear audience, Tuvalu stood firm in the face of this outrageous display of aggression...And it’s no small feat for a tiny country of 26sq kms and 6000 inhabitants to stand up to financial blackmail from big bad Australia. Our message to you, Australia? Time to act like a leader, not a bully.

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