Human Rights and Loss and Damage are not a footnote for countries to remove from text

8 November 2021

First Fossil of the Day Award goes to the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

For the first Fossil of the Day in this second week of COP, we have a tie between Saudi Arabia and the UK for their sterling efforts in securing a weak new Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) which we’re now going to be lumbered with for the next decade!

First of all the UK Presidency appears to have been eager to finish work early on Friday. They dispensed with making the shaping of the text inclusive, instead pushing all parties to come to an agreement that evening, dashing the hopes of civil society organisations and youth groups, who had worked so hard, of having more time to help shape the text.

Not that it may have made any difference anyway – Saudi Arabia gets their first Fossil for manipulating the rushed and restrictive decision-making process, to keep the words “human” and “rights” out of the final text. ACE!

As if by magic, or maybe by maintaining a hardline position, “Human rights-based approach” disappeared from the guiding principles. We think we can guess why those oil kings think the next generation doesn’t need a robust climate education….

Second Fossil of the Day Award goes to Mexico

Mexico has worked hard to earn its Fossil of the Day award. Ranked as the 13th largest emitter of CO2 in the world, it’s not exactly spearheading energy transition. Its government is pumping more, not less, money into the fossil fuel industry, building oil refineries and delaying policies aimed at carbon emissions reductions.

And this is coming from a country where, in 2020 alone, at least 101,000 people were forcibly displaced because of natural disasters, according to the annual report of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center. Then they turned up in Glasgow with out of date NDCs from 2015, previously rated as ‘insufficient’ to achieve the 1.5C degree goal and with no loss and damage or emissions mitigation data. And surprise, surprise, they also failed to support the recent ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition’ Statement which championed a just and inclusive transition to prevent loss and damage and human rights violations they’ve been linked to.

They’ve now fallen even further behind with a rating of “highly insufficient” on their climate policies. How much further can this country slide?

Third Fossil of the Day Award goes to the Czech Republic

When the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš used the COP26 World Leaders’ Forum to brand the EU Green Deal “ideology, not a deal”, it appeared he had mistaken the Glasgow event for a climate change deniers’ conference.

And we can see why – his country has the third highest GHG emissions per capita in the EU and emissions levels going up rather than down. Alongside avoiding mitigation activities at home, it has sidestepped helping the most vulnerable and impacted countries abroad and hasn’t provided a single koruna to the Green Climate Fund.

Mr Babiš  has also been known to point the finger of climate responsibility outside the EU whilst his minions in the Senate of the Czech Republic have recently attempted to reject seven parts of the EU’s Fit for 55 package. For these national and international efforts to avoid climate  responsibility you’ve truly earned your fossil.



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