Switzerland earned yesterday’s first place Fossil of the Day for being a big bully. Anyone who listens to civil society or climate scientists will know that we have to do much more if we want to keep temperature rise below the internationally agreed threshold of 2°C. Predictable public climate finance that helps developing countries to scale up their climate actions is essential to get the ambition wheel turning. Switzerland, in an intervention on Tuesday, not only opposed any legally binding quantified commitments on finance, but also threatened developing countries that any such demands would jeopardise the outcome here in Lima. Other developed countries, including the EU and the US came close to earning a fossil too as they didn’t exactly paint themselves in glory either. To much disappointment, they also strongly rejected commitments on finance.
Brazil came in second after stating in the Framework for Various Approaches Contact Group that “there is no double counting in the CDM”(!!) As numerous scientists have documented, double-counting of emissions is a serious problem with the Clean Development Mechanism. New, robust accounting rules that stamp out such practices are seriously needed to ensure the integrity of our efforts to combat climate change. This statement undermines climate action and earned Brazil a second place fossil.
There was some hope though…
AOSIS received the Ray of the Day award yesterday for being the first group to directly support the complete phase out of carbon pollution by 2050 during this COP. What makes this statement even more powerful is that other countries added their voices to that of AOSIS, specifically AILAC and Norway. Achieving this phase out of fossil fuel emissions and a just transition to 100% renewable energy by mid-century is our only hope to stay below the 2°C threshold. Countries also need to ensure that there is enough financial and technological support for developing countries’ transition. Shifting investments and subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy is a good start.