Fossil of The Day: An Albertasaurus at COP28? No that is just fossil fuel champion Alberta

6 December                                    

Dubai, UAE

Contact: Muhammed Saidykhan, Head of Building Power, Climate Action Network International 

Communications: Dara Snead, / +447917583349

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.

Every day at 18:00 local time you can watch the Fossil ceremony at Action Zone 9 (near the entrance)

Fossil of The Day: An Albertasaurus at COP28? No that is just fossil fuel champion Alberta

Today’s winner managed to outshine their peers and earn the rare honour, or should we say dishonour, of being a subnational government getting a fossil of the day. The province of Alberta, Canada has come to COP with one mission, to sabotage the negotiations. 

Premier Smith, in particular, has had her name added to the black book. Her previous work as a fossil fuel lobbyist was good experience for disrupting Canada’s stance on the fossil fuel phaseout debate at COP. But she can’t take all the credit, she had the support of an extensive delegation of oil and gas representatives. 

This is COP28, there is no space for climate change blockers and deniers, or for governments who, for months, let toxic tailings leak into the drinking water of Indigenous communities without even bothering to inform them. 

This past summer wildfires raged across the province of Alberta; attention Smith, the truth is catching up. It’s time to end support for the oil & gas industry and stop blocking federal regulations that could finally allow Canada to meet its climate target, including a much-needed cap on the massive emissions from the fossil fuel sector. Clean energy solutions are here, they are sustainable investments, so stop blocking renewable energy development.  

Alberta, we don’t want you to end up like your namesake, the long-extinct Albertosaurus. Listen to what people in your own province want – a plan to transition from dependency on volatile fossil fuels to the opportunities of clean energy, in a way that protects workers – or you’ll get left behind.

Runner-up – Norway

Norway comes runner-up for its decision to cheat on their exams. Deep sea mining as part of a ‘green shift’ is unacceptable. Scraping the sea and destroying ecosystems vital to our planet is anything but green, no matter what you are using the minerals for. This rationale has been debunked by leading scientists, and is both misleading and blatant greenwashing.

Oceans are facing more and more exploitation, threatening biodiversity and pushing them far beyond their tolerance limit. It comes as no surprise to us that the deep sea mining industry in Norway is in cahoots with the fossil fuel industry, both of which have heavily lobbied the Norwegian government. Norway has forgotten its mother’s advice, don’t jump off a cliff just because your best friend has done so.  

Norway you’re in detention for being irresponsible. Your actions have wider consequences, setting the tone for bad behaviour in international negotiations on seabed mining.

Runner-up – South Korea

South Korea wants to set off multi-billion dollar carbon bombs off the coast of Northern Australia. The Korean- and Japanese-financed Barossa gas project, off the coast of the Tiwi Islands, is polluting the waters and disrespecting their traditional First Nations owners.

Korea is also playing a key role in tripling the global LNG carrier capacity by providing a $44 billion subsidy to shipowners and shipbuilders. It’s time to end this toxic relationship.

Barossa has already been blocked in the past due to its lack of consultation with the First Nation population of the Tiwi islands. The project poses unacceptable risks to Indigenous songlines. As stated by Munupi senior cultural leader and elder Pirrawayingi Puruntatameri:

“Our connection to sea country is way too strong, and it has been since the creation of time for us. The water may have risen and moved over time, but it has never interrupted our spiritual connection to the land that is now  underwater.”

It may come as no surprise that  fossil of the day regular, Japan, also have their dirty fingerprints all over this project. Australian oil and gas exploration company, Santos, and the other project investors, are pitching this as a ‘carbon-neutral LNG’, or, as we know it,  ‘greenwashing’. 

At COP28, South Korea’s pavilion is being used as a safe space for the fossil fuel industry, facilitating the signing of new MOUs on blue hydrogen. These won’t help anyone decarbonise – they’ll facilitate more gas extraction, more co-firing, and more life for fossil gas in Australia and around Asia.

This is a rare appearance at Fossil of the Day for South Korea, but with their ongoing billions in fossil finance and failure to contribute at all to addressing the loss and damage they’ve caused, we’re sure it won’t be long before they’re back on the podium. 



Muhammed Saidykhan, Head of Building Power, Climate Action Network International 

Communications: Dara Snead, / +447917583349

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 2000 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 150 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.  

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