Canada wins for an unwillingness to negotiate at negotiations
(Copenhagen, Denmark) Canada has been awarded a Fossil of the Day on the first day of negotiations at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen. This “prize”, given to countries who are blocking progress at the United Nations climate summit, is awarded daily by a coalition of 400 leading international NGOs.
Canada garnered today’s award for its unwavering commitment to stand firm in its inaction throughout these negotiations. At a speech in Montreal on Friday, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said that he “won't be swayed by the Copenhagen hype.”
But if there’s one country on the face of this planet that desperately needs to be swayed, it’s Canada. Since announcing its emissions target in 2007 of reducing GHG emissions by 20% below the 2006 emission level (equivalent to 3 % below the 1990 level), the Harper government has consistently refused to adopt any regulatory framework to start reducing emissions, namely from the rapidly growing sector of tar sands. “So not only do they have the worst records of all industrialised countries, they’re now saying they are going to stick to it,” said Steven Guilbeault from Equiterre. “Someone needs to remind the Canadian government that at negotiations, it is indeed necessary to negotiate.”
“This is a day that I would not have seen coming, the day that South Africa has a more ambitious target than the province of Alberta, whose emissions continue to rise thanks to dirty oil,” says Richard Worthington from WWF South Africa. South Africa just adopted a target of reducing its emissions by 34% below business-as-usual levels in 2020; Alberta’s target for 2020 is equivalent to a cut of about 15-20% below business-as-usual.
Canada has swept these awards, winning Fossil of the Year both in 2007 and 2008. Let’s hope that Canada has had enough of winning Fossil prizes and is ready to negotiate.
Fossil of the Day will be presented daily in Copenhagen from a network of over 400 leading international non-governmental organizations following a vote to determine which country had done the most over the course of the day to delay, stall, and otherwise disrupt this crucial negotiating sessions in Copenhagen in December.