The First Place Fossil goes to New Zealand because the NZ Environment Minister thinks NZ is ‘ahead of the curve’ in not signing up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. CAN knows the opposite is true. What the Minister fails to realize is that by refusing to sign up to the only international legally binding deal to reduce carbon pollution, New Zealand will become more and more irrelevant in shaping a post-2020 regime. The second commitment period is critical to maintaining the legal architecture and strengthening the rules of the future regime, post-2020. It would have cost NZ zero to put in its weak pledge into a QELRO, but it stubbornly refused. All this shows is that NZ is becoming more and more like the ‘old’ Australia – cutting off its nose to spite its face. New Zealand is abandoning its national interest for what? Look out Canada, you’ve got competition.
The Second Place Fossil of the Day goes to Canada for serious ‘climate amnesia.’ Today Canada published a timeline of the past 3 years of their climate (in)action in an attempt to “clear the air” as it were, about whether or not Canada is committed to capping warming at 2 degrees. Unfortunately, they forgot to include their biggest, historic action when it comes to global climate commitments – making history as the first ever country to formally pull out of the Kyoto Protocol. Maybe Canada doesn’t want to admit they’ve pulled out, maybe a few too many barrels of bitumen were clouding their memory. After all, they are still negotiating on Kyoto until the end of this COP, despite walking away from any commitments they made. We know that you are modest, Canada, not a braggart when you are such a laggard, but a climate (in)action this big deserves recognition, and since Canada forgot to include it themselves, we wanted to make sure that they get credit where credit is due. Already recognized once today, as the worst developed nation in the Germanwatch/CAN-Europe Climate Change Performance Index, Canada truly earns this Fossil for having one of the most serious cases of climate amnesia we’ve ever seen. I mean really, if you can forget pulling out of Kyoto, who knows what’s next.
And the Ray of the Day goes to Monaco for their outstanding unconditional pledge of 30% emissions reductions by 2020. They are also fully committed and on track to complete their commitments from the first commitment period, and are urging others to make pledges as well. Monaco serves as a shining example that this COP needs, and this Ray is to encourage others to follow.