Canada awarded “Fossil of the Day” for holding back on urgent financial support for climate action in poorer countries
November 28, 2012
(Doha, Qatar) Canada was awarded the first place fossil of the day today in Qatar for Environment Minister Peter Kent’s dismissive approach to supporting climate action in poorer countries.
In media interviews yesterday, Minister Kent confirmed Canada’s intention not to contribute new funding in Doha to help poorer countries tackle climate change, saying that Doha “isn’t a pledging conference.”
In a letter to civil society groups, Minister Kent said that Canada does not support providing funding for emission reductions through the new Green Climate Fund – a fund that has been a major accomplishment of recent UN climate talks – until “a new agreement applicable to all…can be adopted by all parties.”
Last year’s negotiations in Durban gave countries until 2015 to reach this agreement, which will not go into effect until 2020 – so Minister Kent’s position could mean that Canada delays contributing dollars to the Green Climate Fund to help poorer countries reduce their emissions until 2020.
“Canada’s poor showing tackling climate change at home makes it even more important for them to show leadership in helping others,” says Hannah McKinnon of Climate Action Network Canada. “The government could rebuild trust and do itself and its international reputation a favour by stepping up and committing its fair share to help countries who didn’t cause climate change deal with its devastating impacts.”
In Copenhagen in 2009, developed countries (including Canada) committed to provide both short term and long term financing to help developing countries adapt to the consequences of a warming planet and to reduce their own emissions.
Canada did contribute to the first installment of climate financing under the 2010-2012 “fast start” period. But with the first phase coming to a close, developed countries are expected to commit to providing post-2012 funding in Doha, to ensure that developing countries are not left alone to face the consequences of a problem they did little to create. Other major developed countries, including the U.S., have indicated that they plan to announce new funding soon for the next phase of climate financing.
The Fossil of the Day is a long-standing tradition in the UN climate talks and is voted on and awarded by an international network of over 800 civil society organizations. It is presented daily to the country or countries that do the most to undermine global efforts to address climate change. The text of the satirical award was presented as follows:
Canada caps support rather than emissions
“Newsflash! This just in from the Canadian Environment Minister! Developing countries need to just take a deep breath and wait until we have an all-in global deal before they should expect any support from Canada to move towards a clean energy future through the Green Climate Fund. In talking to reporters yesterday, Canada’s environment minister took a moment to tell journalists that he would ‘make it clear’ at the meetings in Doha that developing countries shouldn’t expect more money towards climate financing from Canada, because after all, Doha “isn’t a pledging conference.”
Thanks for clearing that up Minister! We are sure that that will do wonders for your stellar credibility and reputation at these talks. Thankfully the Minister IS coming to Doha with at least one commitment: Canada is still firmly committed that tar sands emissions will rise far beyond the 2 degree climate limit.
World to Canada: You are supposed to be ramping finance up and emissions down; not the other way around!”
Further media inquires:
* Further information on Canada’s position on finance can be found in a letter from Minister Kent to Climate Action Network Canada available upon request