Fossil of the day

Day 7: USA Wins First Place Fossil for Weak Target, No Cash

The USA wins its first Fossil of the COP for two reasons: first, for making absolutely no commitment on long-term financing for developing countries to cope with the impacts of climate change and reduce their own emissions even further, a failure that could sink the talks. Second, because the US--far and away the biggest cumulative emitter of global warming pollution in world history--has among the weakest mid-term emissions targets of any major developed country, a laughable 4% below 1990 levels by 2020. Will US negotiators ignore the interests of their own children and the poorest nations on the planet? Or will they bring the US into the community of nations, rich and poor alike, rising to the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced? US, all eyes on you: is it Hopenhagen or Brokenhagen?

The EU wins second-place Fossil dishonors for failing to address a gaping loophole that undermines its targets: hot air and forest management. Allowing full carry-over past 2012 of Europe's hot air--that is, targets based on 1990 levels that in fact allow huge increases in emissions--could allow 11 gigatonnes of carbon emissions. Europe's flagging credibility as a climate leader could crumble completely if this hot air loophole is not closed -- and all of the EU member states are responsible.

Saudi Arabia and Canada receive the third place fossil of the day for their respective last and second-last finish in the Climate Change Performance Index released today by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network Europe. The Index evaluates 57 industrial and developing countries who release 90% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Saudi Arabia’s record speaks for itself. Canada only finished second-last because Saudi Arabia received a zero rating for its climate policy! Canada is in the world’s top ten emitters, has one of the world’s highest per capita rates of emissions at 23 tonnes per person, and is 34% above its Kyoto target (which is just a modest 6% cut from 1990). Simply put: on climate change, Canada has performance issues.

Fossil of the Day 6

Japan shamed on birthday of Kyoto Protocol
Papua New Guinea pulls in second place


SECOND PLACE: PAPUA NEW GUINEA Papua New Guinea receives today’s second place fossil award for openly opposing the AOSIS proposal for two legally binding protocols. In the COP plenary session, Papua New Guinea spoke out against the AOSIS proposal, which offers the clearest way forward to a fair, ambitious and legally binding outcome to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. Papua New Guinea may be a member of AOSIS, but today it acted more like Japan.

FIRST PLACE: JAPAN Yesterday, 11th December, was the Kyoto Protocol's birthday. But even though Kyoto is growing older, the Japanese negotiators don't seem to be getting any more mature. At both COP and COP/MOP today, Japan strongly opposed setting a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, blocking progress by refusing the chair's text as a basis for negotiation.

Japan, don't abandon the poor birthday girl! We thought the new government would bring change, now we're wondering if it's the LDP or the DPJ in power. Perhaps Environment Minister Ozawa, who arrives tonight, can explain why Japan's negotiators don't seem to be growing up the way Kyoto is!

Swedish Fossil Delivery

fossilsweden In Stockholm, Sweden, representatives of      TckTckTck delivered the Award "Fossil of the Day” to the Swedish Government, Environmental Department. During the presentation the representatives read the background for the reasons why Sweden together with Finland and Austria got second place in the ”Competition”.fossilsweden In Stockholm, Sweden, representatives of      TckTckTck delivered the Award "Fossil of the Day” to the Swedish Government, Environmental Department. During the presentation the representatives read the background for the reasons why Sweden together with Finland and Austria got second place in the ”Competition”. During the Ceremony Opera singer Anna Eklund Tarantino sang a French Opera aria about nature. The acoustics in the room where the Ceremony took place were splendid and Anna got a round of applause after her performance. Anders Berndes from TckTckTck gave Karin Rappsjö from the Environmental Department the Diplomas and Maria Ferm from the Green Youth greeted Karin to the Award.

Also involved in the ceromony was Goran Folin represantative from Tcktcktck and Friends of the Earth. Magnus Akerlind from Tcktcktck filmed the event and the movie will be on the Internet shortly.

Fossil 5: Special guest -- the Mayor of Toronto -- collects Canada's casket of shame

The Mayor of Toronto, David Miller, in Copenhagen made a special guest appearance tonight to collect first and second place "Fossil of the Day" awards, after NGOs from around the world voted to present Canada with a double dishonour for doing the most to obstruct progress in the global climate talks today.

European leaders had the chance to put their mark on the talks today: by agreeing a more ambitious 2020 target, by putting money on the table longer term, by ensuring short term finance is new money, and by closing EU loopholes like hot air and sinks. Five opportunities for leadership. Of the five, they took... zero.

We’re glad the EU is calling for a legally binding outcome as soon as possible, and we know some countries in Europe are fighting for an agreement worth having. But to seal a real deal at Copenhagen, Europe’s leaders need to lead together--to end their defensive approach, and make a bold move before the final hour of Copenhagen. In particular Germany must understand that other countries will not be inspired by an EU that is holding out on moving forward. Only courageous action will draw out responses. Timidity will draw out Fossils.

Canada's chief negotiator insisted in a briefing this morning that his country's target of -3% below 1990 are, in fact, based on science. The price quote--in answer to a question, was: "Yes, Canada's targets are science-based. Absolutely, yes."

Last we checked, the IPCC scientific community called for 25-40% emission reductions below 1990 levels. The Fossil Supreme Command Council can only conclude that he wasn't referring to climate science at all, but rather the science of mathematics--because -3% is, indeed, a number. (Although a very small one.) Speaking of math, Canada already promised in the Kyoto Protocol to go to -6% from 1990 levels. Oops!

Further, when the chief negotiator was asked this morning if he believed Canada's so called “science based-target” would protect melting summer sea-ice in the North West passage, he responded quite accurately that he is not a scientist and therefore cannot predict sea-ice. Canada, here's a piece of science you can understand: you've won the second place Fossil Award.

It doesn't get much clearer than this: Canada's Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, said yesterday that, quote, "it’s in Canada’s interests to replace the Kyoto Protocol with a new agreement." He didn't explain whether that's because he's scared to face Kyoto's compliance committee

It also appears that Canada's environment minister is suffering a serious case of CAN envy. Yesterday, he invented his own prize, the Hot Air of the Day Award, and tried to give it to a Canadian environmental group. It's a true honor to be recognized for hot air by this government, the world's acknowledged masters in that area. But even though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we'd be even more flattered if you actually signed on to a fair, ambitious, and binding deal instead of trying to wriggle free of the climate promises you've already made and broken.

Day 4 Photos


Poland and Germany Shamed -- France receives Ray of the Day

France wins tonight’s Ray of the Day—the second in history—for leadership in fighting the EU’s shameful position on LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry). On the first night of the COP, Sweden, Finland, and Austria were Fossilized for pushing a loophole in the accounting of emissions for forest management.

Tonight, the Fossil/Ray Supreme Command Council is pleased to announce, France has come forward with concerns about the EU’s proposal, and calling at the EU Council meeting to close the loophole. If France prevails, Europe’s target will be far more credible; emissions from Europe’s forests will be properly accounted—and the negotiations here in Copenhagen will receive a much-needed jolt of positive news. Other EU member states, take notice!

Poland scores first place for actively blocking the proposed unconditional upgrade of the EU's carbon emissions reduction target to 30%. The Polish EU affairs minister, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, who told the EU Observer, "Clearly, in Copenhagen begins a sequence of events that will end, we hope, in Mexico City and there we will have the tools to assess whether we can make the transition from 20 to 30 percent EU objective."

Raising Europe's target this year is absolutely key to a real climate deal in Copenhagen. CAN urges the European Union to move, in fact, to a 40% cut from 1990 levels by 2020. Trying to block even a move from 20% is more than enough to secure a first-place Fossil for Poland.

Germany wins second place for failing to clarify that climate finance should be additional to existing aid. A week ago, several leaders of the ruling coalition--with support from Development Minister Dirk Niebel, who will be here tomorrow--proposed to the Bundestag that no climate finance should be additional to money already pledged for development assistance. It's an insult to imagine pulling away money promised for famine relief, malaria medicine, and primary school in the developing world, and using that to bargain on climate change. Seven long days have passed, the EU meeting has begun... Germany: break your silence and promise to push for Europe's climate finance to be additional! The world is watching!

New Zealand for statements yesterday by Prime Minister John Key: "I am not focused on increasing New Zealand’s target. What I am focused on is going to Copenhagen and making sure that New Zealand can successfully negotiate the conditions that we think are important in order for us to achieve a target of 10 to 20 percent. If we do not negotiate those conditions, we will not be able to achieve a target of 10 to 20 percent and we would have to have a lower target. ...If New Zealand were to achieve a target of 10 percent less, that would be a significant milestone."

Canada Declared 'Prize Fossil'. Tuvalu Wins First Ever Ray of the Day



In an historic new award, NGOs from around the world united in voting Tuvalu the first ever winner of Ray of the Day -- to be given on rare occasions for actions to substantially advance progress in global climate talks. The tiny Pacific island nation was celebrated today for its bold proposal to discuss a legal outcome from the Copenhagen summit. Along with other small islands Tuvalu will be one of the first victims of rising seas as warmer temperatures melt glaciers and expand oceans.

Canada and Croatia share first for pushing in a Kyoto Protocol contact group against the 1990 base year. Canada in particular has been relentlessly opposed to measuring emissions in relation to the internationally accepted base year of 1990, in favor of--as a senior negotiator put it in a stakeholder meeting--a "more contemporary" base year. Could Canada's desire to erase the past have something to do with fact that tar sands emissions have more than doubled from 1990 to now? Or is it just an effort to make its tiny little 3% target look a bit bigger?

Russia wins second place Fossil today for proposing, during the Kyoto Protocol plenary discussion, that Presidenfossilst Medvedev's announced 20-25% reductions were "an important political statement" -- not an actual submission for the Kyoto Protocol. "We will not be ready to submit those most recent figures announced by the president," said Russia's negotiator, "because they were not intended for the KP." If you're not in the Kyoto discussions to discuss Kyoto, what are you here for?