Stop Climate Chaos

COP15 and the Fossil of the Day - 17th December

While the day began in a deadlock with some officials saying they'd given up on reaching a deal that worked for the G77-China countries and the richer nations, surprisingly the US were instrumental in 'building bridges' for a reconciliation. Despite their current run of 3 Fossil of the Day awards in a row for being the country most hindering the talks reaching a fair, effective and binding deal, Hillary Clinton today (17th) announced that they would contribute to the creation of a $100bn fund to help poorer nations deal with the impacts of climate change.
Picketing outside US embassy
Our Fossil of the Day award delivery team outside the US embassy last night

Gordon Brown initially proposed the $100bn figure in the summer, and it was initially tabled at the talks yesterday by the Ethiopian PM, Meles Zenawi. It is part of a package that would attempt to limit global warming to 2°C, a figure that most other African countries, and most of the Pacific Island nations, feel isn't enough to protect them from the devastating impacts of climate change. Zenawi said:

My proposal dramatically scales back our expectation of the level of funding in return for more reliable funding and a seat at the table in the management of such a fund.

The Maldives particularly have been using the phrase, '1.5°C to stay alive', which has also been adopted by many of the African nations at the conference.

French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, broke from the EU position of trying to 'kill off' the Kyoto Protocol, providing some unexpected support for the position of the poorer countries. The talks are now going ahead on the same two-tiered basis as the Kyoto Protocol, i.e. that richer nations who have done most to contribute to the climate change problem must accept stringent and binding emissions cuts, while poorer nations are not expected to meet binding targets. Which is one of the other major sticking points, that the US refuse to accept legally binding emissions cuts, unless China does the same.
Picketing outside Australian embassy
Our Fossil of the Day award delivery team outside the Australian embassy tonight
Today's Fossil of the Day however was Australia for the pressure it has allegedly placed on Pacific Island nations to relinquish their demands for global warming to be kept below 1.5°C. Stop Climate Chaos Director, Ashok Sinha, included a letter with our Fossil of the Day award which included:

If this is correct then we are appalled. There should be no conditions placed on the support wealthy countries - who have done most to create climate change - give to poorer countries, who will be hit first and worst by a problem they have done least to create.

We remain encouraged by the declared intention of the Australian Government to meet its domestic obligations to tackle climate change. Accordingly we call on Australia to stop pressuring small and vulnerable countries and concentrate on the need to put its own house in order.

For the complete rundown of the Fossils of the Day, please see below the rationale from our friends at Climate Action Network.

FIRST - Australia
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.

SECOND/THIRD (tied) - Japan, Canada and Australia (again)
Japan, Canada and Australia 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 Japan, Canada and Australia have no one else to hide behind.

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