EU and Umbrella Group Win Fossil for Blocking Ambition Boost

Today’s first place Fossil of the Day Award goes to…the EU and Umbrella Group countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Kazakhstan, Norway, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the USA). They take the prize for standing in the way of increasing ambition before 2020. If they shifted on their position, LMDCs would have to deliver on their promise to allow an opportunity to revisit all INDCs (with support) before 2020. Together these actions could help get us on track to keep warming below 2C degrees, and ideally 1.5C.

Our second place fossil award goes to all 196 countries! Yesterday in the meeting of the Committee of Paris, it did not seem like this was a negotiation for the people or for the planet but more about highlighting different short-term self-interests that governments have. Governments from across the world need to realize that this COP is an opportunity to steer the world to a fossil free future with 100 % renewable energy for all and shape the long-term future for a prosperous and safe world for all citizens rather than just their own.

The third place fossil award goes to the EU (again!) for total hypocrisy and inconsistency. The EU has been speaking against decarbonisation while at the same time putting up statements on aiming for below 1.5 °C rather than 2°C. Being in any way serious about staying even below 2°C means there is no space for any more new coal, while phasing out existing plants. The EU needs to phase out coal and focus on a just transition to renewable energy. We have heard this story a few times here in Paris and we don’t like it, not one bit.

We have a Ray of the Day award for the Maldives and the Philippines. It was extremely encouraging to hear these countries – both prominent members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum – say very clear yesterday that the Paris agreement needs to ensure countries come back to the table in 2018, ready to table new and improved targets. Otherwise we are locking a supremely insufficient level of ambition for up to 15 years and thereby closing the door on 1.5 in practice. Maldives and the Philippines – we are behind you on this one!

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