Developed Countries, Japan, and Kuwait all win big, for being bad

Developed Countries – pre-2020

Our first Fossil of the Day Award goes to the developed countries, whose historic responsibility for climate change got us to where we are today, for opposing a discussion of pre-2020 actions and its inclusion as an agenda item at COP23. This year’s extreme weather events, which devastated communities across the world, shows the urgent need for action now – we can’t only have talk until 2020. As vulnerable countries plead for their survival, it is outrageous to see developed countries blocking this from happening. All countries need to do more in the pre-2020! This means developed countries need to also fulfil their previous commitments, including those on finance, which help poorer countries take action.

Have developed countries forgotten the Durban compromise and the creation of work stream 2 to advance pre-2020 ambition? It’s a mystery why the pre-2020 issues were ever dropped from the agenda in the first place. It’s not enough to merely put the item back, we must use the space to constructively advance pre-2020 ambition, with actions on the ground and additional support to developing countries.

This situation is now creating a trust deficit. As It seems that developed countries only want to create a perception that they are constructively engaged in the pre-2020 actions, but their rhetoric and actions, are saying otherwise.

This must end now. Developed countries must be open to a process under the COP to at least start the conversation.



We are really excited about the #WeAreStillIn movement in the United States. Well, there’s one more country that is also STILL IN the same world, however, in this case in an outdated COAL world…

Our second Fossil goes to Japan, who has agreed on a new energy partnership with US this week, which is called "JUSEP (Japan-United States Strategic Energy Partnership).” This partnership aims to support energy infrastructure projects in developing countries (especially in South East Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa), which includes "promoting nuclear technologies" and "deploying HELE coal technologies", as their priority for 2017-2018. On the other hand, there is no language in the partnership document to support renewables.

Japan says they will implement the Paris Agreement. Really? Japan together with the US Administration, is still trying to promote nuclear and coal, which hinders efforts for expanding renewable energy in developing countries. Japan should change its anachronistic policy on coal and nuclear.



Our third Fossil goes to Kuwait for insisting upon excluding observers yesterday from the Loss and Damage negotiations under SBI.

Don’t you hate being the only friend not invited to a party? Surely you would bring something valuable to the table. Perhaps an opinion, or some legitimacy. Why would you want to exclude the participation of those that are crucially important?

As we all know, observer participation is vital, to hold governments accountable, to give legitimacy to this process, and to bring in the important ideas that are created in civil society, just to name a few.

Kuwait should follow the example of others, Canada for example, who did stand up for observer inclusion (Bravo!), not ONLY in the Loss and Damage negotiations, but also in the Article 6 negotiations under SBSTA, and on the local communities and indigenous peoples platform.

Come on Kuwait, open up and let us in!


About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1100 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced 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 or in the implementation of the Paris Agreement


Fossil Kuwait Japan All Developed Countries COP 23

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