In an unprecedented move, the Fossil of the Day award
was today given to ALL governments attending the Rio+20 summit. NGOs
reacted to the adoption of a shockingly weak outcome text applauded by
all governments in the plenary this morning, pointing out that –
contrary to the document's title – the agreement did NOT reflect the
future they want.
The text of today's Fossil award reads as follows:
"For the first time ever, yesterday, we awarded Big Oil a Fossil of the
day – and the Fossil itself became the target of a protest by some angry
Today, we faced a monumental task deciding just who to award the fossil
to. Obviously the perpetual podium contenders came up, Canada for
tarring Rio+20 by cutting out funding, commitments and so much more. The
United States and Japan, for weilding the literal and metaphorical
delete button, cutting up the text like a ribbon, and the other Big Oil
states for weakening language on subsidies and trying their best to cut
the climate out of Rio. But for some reason we just didn’t feel like
that was doing it justice, too many people were getting off the hook.
The outcome so far in Rio is an epic failure. Yet all governments have
applauded it, as if selling out the planet and people were a grand
This is NOT the future we want, if anything this is the future that big
polluters have bought.
With this text Rio+20 is turning back the clock on sustainable
development. As nations hide behind economic uncertainty, they continue
to give upwards of trillion dollars a year to the fossil fuel industry –
yet here in Rio they’ve all come up with empty pockets. The first step
is to turn that trillion green and make it work for the people and the
planet, and like I said, that's just the first step. There is still
miles to go on oceans, the sustainable development goals, or even having
the ambition to build a pathway to just, sustainable future.
Because every country has applauded this document, and no country has
had the guts to step up and be a champion for the people and the planet,
this fossil is for every single nation here, and for all the world
leaders beginning to arrive for what has become a glorified photo op to
sign a declaration of destruction and a plan for pollution.
There are 3 days left here in Rio, and without a change this summit
will go down in history as more than simply a failure, and those leaders
who sign off on its demise will be known as the architects of
destruction. So as we hand out this, the biggest fossil yet, Heads of
State and their representatives need to remember one thing: the whole
world is watching, the planet is burning, and they are holding matches."