(Barcelona, Spain) - In the last round of United Nations climate change negotiations before the historic Copenhagen summit in December, Canada has been singled out as being the most destructive nation in the talks today by a network of over 400 international non-governmental organizations. Climate Action Network International has awarded Canada the first place Fossil of the Day award for blocking and stalling these critical negotiations.
In stark contrast to the grey suits that fill the halls of the UN conference centre, the Fossil of the Day awards are described as ‘the most fun you can have at the UN’. Announced amid colourful dismay and disappointment at the inaction of the winners, today’s awards were presented to:
1st Place: CANADA - a nation who regularly appears on the ‘Fossil Leaderboard’ - wins tonight’s first place Fossil for stating in this morning’s informal meeting on adaptation that they “would not envisage loss and damage [due to climate change impacts] being addressed as part of the objectives on adaptation”. They also failed to say where they think it should be addressed; instead raising the suspicion they would prefer it to fall off the table completely.
There will be substantial damage from unavoidable impacts of climate change, against which adaptation is not, or no longer, an option – such as sea-level rise, saltwater intrusion into groundwater aquifers or desertification. Millions of livelihoods in developing countries are threatened by such impacts.
“A Copenhagen Agreement that does not recognize that such impacts exist and that does not include resolute provisions to address these impacts would mean that the world’s most vulnerable people, namely those for which adaptation funding is not available, would be left out of the agreement,” said Antonio Hill from Oxfam International.
2nd Place: a tie between the USA – historically the world’s largest emitting nation - and SAUDI ARABIA, the world’s largest oil exporter
The United States was awarded a Fossil Award because of recent statements by the delegation that they do not think that compliance matters. In the view of the Climate Action Network International, such statements by the US undermine a productive negotiating process, particularly in light of the US 'pledge and review' proposal. This proposal is to have a type of 'show and tell' for each nation’s actions, in lieu of binding commitments to collective global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Saudi Arabia received the fossil, for its expression of concern in the Shared Vision contact group that they "are being asked to pay more than their fair share" in a Copenhagen climate deal.
As the International Energy Agency analysis released in Bangkok shows, while OPEC oil revenues over the next 20 years under a 450 ppm mitigation scenario would be somewhat lower than they would under a business-as-usual scenario, they would still be about four times higher than they have been over the last twenty years. Countries whose people are already suffering serious impacts from climate change may be excused for wondering who, in fact, is being asked to pay more than their fair share.
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The following Canadians are in Barcelona and available for comment: (Call Hannah McKinnon for telephone numbers)