Canada Earns 1st Place Again, United States Takes 2nd, a Safe Climate Comes in Last

29 November 2011

Credit: Sarah Rifaat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             29 November 2011
Kyle Gracey
+27 799 129 153

Canada Earns 1st Place Again, United States Takes 2nd, a Safe Climate Comes in Last

Durban, South Africa – Canada again earned the first place Fossil of the Day on Tuesday for a complete mismatch between what it knows the world needs, and what it is willing to do. Meanwhile, the United States  took its first Fossil here for nearly as outrageous of comments, on ways to avoid staying below 2 degrees Celsius of global warming

The Fossils as presented read:

"The United States of America earns the 2nd Place Fossil. It is one thing for certain governments in Durban to be complacent about the urgency of global climate disruption. It is another issue to be complacent when their respective countries are the main culprits, such as the United States who is the worst historical climate polluter. But yesterday the United States position degraded well beyond complacent by rationalizing the collective mitigation targets as in keeping with what climate scientists say is needed to solve the avoid global disaster.

Referring to the fact that he himself was an IPCC contributor, Jonathan Pershing, the US Deputy Special Envoy, said yesterday that 'there are an infinite number of pathways to staying below 2 degrees.' And, yet, the US has managed to avoid all of them. Pershing nonetheless argued that current targets are sufficient enough through 2020.

There is scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate disruption, the urgency to have an emissions peak to avoid runaway global warming, as well as the gross inadequacy of pollution targets. The United States is either in denial about the science, or is trying to thwart justified pressure to improve its own ambition."

"Canada is awarded the first place Fossil of the Day for proposing ‘eventual solutions’ for ‘urgent problems’

Canadian environment Minister, Peter Kent, said yesterday to media that: "There is an urgency to this. We don't need a binding convention, what we need is action and a mandate to work on an eventual binding convention."

What can we say. He nailed the first half of the sentence!

The second half needs some work: In order to address an urgent problem, we need a mandate to work on an eventual solution?

Like Canada’s plans to address its GHG emissions – this just doesn’t add up! (Canada has made many empty promises over recent years, and continues to have no plan that comes close to achieving our weak targets.)

Canada has agreed to keeping global warming below 2 degrees in Copenhagen, they have said they understand the need to close the gigatonne gap as soon as possible, and they claim to take the climate crises seriously. *** But action is for everyone else! ***

To quote a panelist at today’s CAN international press conference: “Canada is quickly becoming a bad joke at these negotiations. So please Canada – we need you to urgently work on an urgent solution to solve an urgent problem."
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999  in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (, members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

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