Two countries finish first in a rare tie!

Fossil Saudi Arabia + Brazil COP24

Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Arab Group

It’s great to be consistent – reliable is good, right? Seems old habits die hard, especially if your allies keep the door open for you …

So, given that we are at COP 24, it is no shock that there are some offenders that keep on coming back.

This Fossil award is for the most consistent, insistent and persistent voice undermining ambition in the negotiations so far this week – Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, on behalf of the Arab Group, was an intervention that summarized their overall approach. 

In the session on the Global Stocktake, Saudi Arabia, speaking for the Arab Group, called for deletion of the term “ambition mechanism” in the preamble to the Global Stocktake text on the grounds that it pre-judges the outcome of the GST. The IPCC SR 1.5 and the entire Paris Agreement makes it clear that we need much more climate ambition if we are to meet the agreement’s long-term objectives. 

Saudi efforts to undermine ambition don’t stop there. Saudi Arabia (speaking for like-minded developing countries or LMDCs for those not in the know) opposes agreement on any new information for NDCs to promote Clarity, Transparency and Understanding, and supports a “no text” outcome. Saudi Arabia, the LMDC and Arab groups repeatedly call for ratification of Doha Amendments, despite Saudi Arabia itself having neglected to ratify. 

We could go on, but it is more than clear that Saudi Arabia is up to its old tricks, and inventing some new ones, in building alliances and strategies to undermine ambition and keeping warming to 1.5C. Welcome back to the leaderboard Saudi Arabia!

 

Brazil

Whatever happened to you, Brazil?

The birthplace of the UN climate convention, once celebrated by its spectacular strides in reducing deforestation and mitigating global warming, has become the laughing stock of negotiators in Katowice.

Just ten days before COP 24, Brazil’s president-elect, army captain, Jair Bolsonaro, called off the offer to host COP 25 next year, because he read on WhatsApp that the Paris Agreement is a threat to Brazil’s sovereignty. Um, yeah, that seems legit.

And If you think that’s a shame, consider for a minute Brazil’s appointed chancellor, Ernesto Araújo, a man whose role model is Donald Trump and who wrote that climate change is part of a Marxist plot to transfer power to China. Somebody please warn Angela Merkel!

Bolsonaro’s plans for the Amazon rainforest, however, are no laughing matter. He has promised to end deforestation control, open up indigenous lands for big business, kill environmental licensing and even shut down the Environment ministry. Environmental criminals are listening closely: between August and November, deforestation rates went up 32%, and a recent study has estimates that it might reach 25 thousand square kilometers a year, with resulting emissions of 3 BILLION tons of carbon dioxide. That’s tchau to 1.5 degrees.

But first and foremost, Bolsonaro’s forest madness is endangering his own people. The Amazon exports humidity that feeds rains in the southern parts of the country, where people live, and food is produced and even recently half of Brazilian cities suffered critical water stress in the last four years.

We’re sorry Brazilians, you’re being embarrassed, Bolsonaro is endangering your people and threatening the fate of the whole planet – is anything more deserving of a Fossil?