Australia doubles down with dodgy call to bail on Green Climate Fund

Oh no, not again! Australia earns today’s first place Fossil of the Day. To mark her preparations for delicate climate negotiations Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced that Australia will not contribute to the Green Climate Fund. While other countries are coughing up, like Norway who doubled their pledge, Australia is bailing out.

The Minister said Australia would rather pay for climate change adaptation in vulnerable South Pacific island nations through its aid budget, than donate to a U.N. Green Climate Fund dedicated to the same purpose. The problem is that Australia is cutting its foreign aid budget by $7.6 billion over the next five years. This means they are reducing money for climate impacted countries just as UNEP reveals the cost of climate adaptation could soar to $150 billion by 2030.

The Marshall Islands receives the illustrious Ray of the Day award for shining a light on an issue that has been lurking in the shadows – the time frame for INDC commitments, of course.

This bold island state has stepped forward to propose a 5-year timeframe for future mitigation commitments. A short time frame that prevents countries locking in low ambition, incentivises early action and can reflect the latest climate science. Now the proposal is on table, we hope it will be included in the new draft decision text and that it remains there, by agreement, at the end of this COP.

In the spirit of today’s COP theme, ‘Business and Industry Day’ or BINGO we have a special award. The Sly Sludge award, which goes to Royal Dutch Shell for their slick attempts to hijack the legitimacy of the COP to protect their business-as-usual strategies, and ultimately their bottom line.

Shell has been busy at the COP, touting the unproven potential of carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technology. They even turned up to push CCS at an IPCC-organized side event and have an event with other polluters on Monday. Conveniently, this techno-fix would enable the fossil fuel industry to continue extracting and burning fossil fuels at unprecedented rates. But this quick fix isn't fooling the rest of us, as is shown by the rapid increase in groups calling for fossil fuel divestment and the growing list of organisations and institutions (700+) that are shifting their money away from dirty energy.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 900 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. 

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (, members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks. 

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