THIRD: US and Colombia
Colombia and the United States received the 3rd place Fossil of the Day award for moving the process backwards on the REDD text. Instead of deleting and merging text, Colombia and the US added and divided text. In the space of one evening, they expanded a 3 page text on REDD to a 7 page text, which led to a chain reaction of text edits and expansion, preventing the text from reaching ministers. Overall, there was a softening in the text–a big step backwards for what has been, up to now, a fairly positive process on REDD at COP15. While we want to get this car into gear, reverse wasn’t the gear we were thinking of.
For lying to Canadians, to negotiators and to the rest of the world, Canada is awarded a 2nd place Fossil of the Day award. Leaked Cabinet documents from Canada’s Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, show that Canada has absolutely no intention of meeting its 2020 target. Instead, the government plans to fry Canadians and the planet by letting oil and gas emissions rise another 37% above current levels by 2020. The leaked plan is three times softer on big polluters like the tar sands than the government’s last kid-gloves approach. Canada’s promise of an absolute reduction of 3% below 1990 levels – so often repeated to negotiators here – has been revealed as an outright lie.
Canada has seldom filled us with hope at these climate talks, but even we expected better than this pathetic deception. It’s time to start writing climate policy for Canadians and the world, not for the tar sands.
FIRST: United States
After staying clean during all of last week, The United States took home another first place Fossil of the Day Award today. This one is for being the only industrialized country to block ‘bunker finance’ — the idea that you could pass measures that cut emissions from international aviation and shipping (‘bunker fuels’, in the UN jargon), and in doing so raise revenues to fund adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.
It’s hard to see what’s not to like in this idea — you tackle the fastest-growing sources of emissions, and turn them into money to help poor countries in the fight against climate change. Over the last few months, every other industrialised country, even Canada, has come around to the idea. It’s high time the US put some long-term finance on the table, and this is one blindingly obvious way of doing so.