Fossil 5: Special guest — the Mayor of Toronto — collects Canada’s casket of shame

The Mayor of Toronto, David Miller, in Copenhagen made a special guest appearance tonight to collect first and second place “Fossil of the Day” awards, after NGOs from around the world voted to present Canada with a double dishonour for doing the most to obstruct progress in the global climate talks today.

European leaders had the chance to put their mark on the talks today: by agreeing a more ambitious 2020 target, by putting money on the table longer term, by ensuring short term finance is new money, and by closing EU loopholes like hot air and sinks. Five opportunities for leadership. Of the five, they took… zero.

We’re glad the EU is calling for a legally binding outcome as soon as possible, and we know some countries in Europe are fighting for an agreement worth having. But to seal a real deal at Copenhagen, Europe’s leaders need to lead together–to end their defensive approach, and make a bold move before the final hour of Copenhagen. In particular Germany must understand that other countries will not be inspired by an EU that is holding out on moving forward. Only courageous action will draw out responses. Timidity will draw out Fossils.

Canada’s chief negotiator insisted in a briefing this morning that his country’s target of -3% below 1990 are, in fact, based on science. The price quote–in answer to a question, was: “Yes, Canada’s targets are science-based. Absolutely, yes.”

Last we checked, the IPCC scientific community called for 25-40% emission reductions below 1990 levels. The Fossil Supreme Command Council can only conclude that he wasn’t referring to climate science at all, but rather the science of mathematics–because -3% is, indeed, a number. (Although a very small one.) Speaking of math, Canada already promised in the Kyoto Protocol to go to -6% from 1990 levels. Oops!

Further, when the chief negotiator was asked this morning if he believed Canada’s so called “science based-target” would protect melting summer sea-ice in the North West passage, he responded quite accurately that he is not a scientist and therefore cannot predict sea-ice. Canada, here’s a piece of science you can understand: you’ve won the second place Fossil Award.

It doesn’t get much clearer than this: Canada’s Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, said yesterday that, quote, “it’s in Canada’s interests to replace the Kyoto Protocol with a new agreement.” He didn’t explain whether that’s because he’s scared to face Kyoto’s compliance committee

It also appears that Canada’s environment minister is suffering a serious case of CAN envy. Yesterday, he invented his own prize, the Hot Air of the Day Award, and tried to give it to a Canadian environmental group. It’s a true honor to be recognized for hot air by this government, the world’s acknowledged masters in that area. But even though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we’d be even more flattered if you actually signed on to a fair, ambitious, and binding deal instead of trying to wriggle free of the climate promises you’ve already made and broken.

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