Fossil of the Day (ECO 2, COP26)

2 November 2021

Well, here we are again. In for yet another roller coaster ride through the climate negotiations that are COP26. This time, direct from sunny Glasgow, with its stunning Victorian architecture, lively spirit and basically its own language and sense of humour. And so to business and back by popular demand, the first of our ‘Fossil of the Day’ Awards.

The First Fossil of the Day Award goes to the UK Presidency, in partnership with the UNFCCC secretariat, for their exceptional organisation.

CAN asked for a COP postponement, as we feared people from the developing world wouldn’t be able to come and advocate for climate justice in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

But the UK presidency insisted that COP26 was going ahead and was prepared to welcome the global community to ‘the most inclusive COP ever’…

This spirit of inclusivity has showcased what the Brits do best – the art of queuing for hours in some cases. People who’ve invested time and resources to travel to Glasgow have waited patiently only to find there is “no room at the inn” for civil society and told to ‘join events online’ – to then find they were offline… We might as well have stayed at home, though we would have missed the weather…

We hope this inaugural COP26 Fossil of the Day serves as a wake up call. Civil society must be treated as an equal partner with equal access – we all have the same aim to avert climate breakdown. You have two weeks to shepherd a successful negotiation process and to cultivate a productive negotiating environment at a critically important time. You’ve been warned – we’re watching and we aren’t queuing!

The Second Fossil of the Day Award goes to Australia for aiming very low.

The Aussies are already excelling in heading for rock bottom this COP. They’ve not only spectacularly failed to deliver ambitious contributions (NDC) but have also approved three new coal projects in the last months.

They brought no new 2030 target, no new policies to reduce emissions or phase out fossil fuels and ruled out signing the Global Methane Pledge.

Australia, we’ve come to expect some unconscionable behaviour from you on climate change but this time you’ve truly outdone yourself. How low can you go and will New Zealand be following you?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that New Zealand´s updated climate plans are perfectly aligned with the 1.5C target yet Energy Minister Megan Woods refused to commit to phase out of new and expanded coal mines. You can’t go for coal and rely on overseas credits to meet your targets.

Support CAN

Help us build power in the climate movement by contributing a one-time or recurring donation that will go to supporting our global work as well as various activities and campaigns in communities in different regions.

Donate to CAN

Stay informed

Subscribe to receive monthly updates on the latest on the climate movement including the content from across the network, upcoming climate change events, news articles and opinion pieces on climate, straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter