Fossil Awards Day 9: US Continues its “Winning Streak” and Loser Status for the “X Factor”

Last week at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, America was able to make it through six straight days of negotiations without a single award. This week, it seems like they’re trying to make up for it with their shameful actions. Today, they take home first prize for the third day in a row, this time for muddying the waters around mitigation targets. The United States has inserted a proposed “X %” as an alternative to the science based targets currently in the text. When it comes to targets, we need numbers, not letters.

Today’s second place Fossil of the Day Award goes to the Umbrella Group for blocking progress towards a Fair, Ambitious and Binding Agreement by refusing to commit to the critical long term finance required. Developing countries are ready to act on a path of climate protection and are the ones that will be hit the hardest by the impacts of climate change. They need a helping hand and the Umbrella Group should be leading the way.

SECOND: Umbrella Group
To the Umbrella Group, for coming up empty on long-term financing just when these talks need it most. It doesn’t get much more anemic than today’s umbrella group statement on long-term finance, which contained not a single number — but did prominently feature the role of carbon markets. The Umbrella Group represents all of the industrialized Annex 1 countries other than the European Union and refused to provide developing countries with the support they need through long term finance agreements. Umbrellas: Copenhagen needs you to step up and recognize a scale of public financing in line with what’s really needed, and to tell us how you plan to provide that support. It’s way too late for vague platitudes.

FIRST: United States
In a truly remarkable tour de farce, the United States picks up its THIRD STRAIGHT, First Place Fossil of the Day Award. And they had done such a good job last week with their clean Fossil record. This First Place Fossil Award is bestowed upon the United States for having inserted a proposed “X %” as an alternative to the science based targets currently in the text. This mysterious “X” would represent voluntary pledges by parties in the agreement, replacing concrete binding emissions reductions. At a time when critical action and strong, concrete terms are what’s needed most, the US is proposing we move as far as possible in the other direction. One superlative deserves another, so we thought it fitting that the US ends up with highest dishonor given to the government that does the most to block progress towards achieving the Fair, Ambitious and Binding Treaty that the world expects. A hearty un-congratulations to you.

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