Fossil of They Day: Attention EU: Loss and Damage is Part of the NCQG 

9 December                                    

Dubai, UAE

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)

Attention EU: Loss and Damage is Part of the NCQG 

The EU might have escaped winning Fossil of The Day by championing progressive leadership, but that has all changed due to their ongoing opposition to including Loss and Damage in the negotiations of the New Collective Quantified Goal. It appears to be a clear signal that they don’t want to secure long-term finance for those affected by climate change.  

Any further celebrations after they adopted the Loss and Damage fund on the first day will be cancelled if the fund is not continuously filled. 

Attention EU! Did you miss the memo? COP28 is the conference where the fossil fuel era ends, once and for all. To align with the 1.5°C liveable target, we must deliver an energy package that is fast, fair, feminist, forever, and FUNDED. Yes, that’s right EU, countries need financing for the energy transition, and in case you didn’t realise the energy package includes technical and financial support, essential to accelerate the transition. This is crucial; the lack of support from the EU and other rich nations is halting the progress of these negotiations. 

Maybe we should organise a bilateral with the EU and other rich nations to go through the definition of equity, and while we’re at it, we can also define ‘Just Transition’, ‘unabated’, and ‘ambitious’ for them. 

It is true that some finance was choreographed in the early stages of these negotiations, but did you really think that would pull the wool over our collective eyes? Climate finance for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage must be multiplied, and financing for the longer term secured. 

The alarm bells are ringing, the EU needs to step up now. 

Runner-up – Vietnam

We must be in fashion! A lot of different countries are talking up the crucial role of civil society at COP for brownie points, but forgetting about it when they get home.

Step forward the Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, who came to COP28 to launch the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) implementation plan. The announcement cited the JETP Political Declaration which states that ‘it is vital that civil society is actively involved in a transparent manner at all stages of the JETP to make sure the necessary transition will be just and inclusive.’  

Too bad that back home Vietnam has arrested and detained the country’s most prominent climate leaders on trumped-up charges of “tax evasion” and “appropriation of information.” This after they sought greater accountability in Vietnam’s climate change and energy investments. NGOs leading projects and activities related to clean energy and the protection of the environment are also being shut down. These sneaky antics are not going unnoticed by wider civil society, we see the empty seats and we will not remain silent.           

We know when we’re winning by how the opposition reacts… and of course, that OPEC letter that happened across our desks. Six prominent individuals who were working on Vietnam’s transition from coal have been targeted, including environmental justice lawyer Mr. Dang Dinh Bach, who is serving a sentence of five years in prison. The UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated that Bach’s imprisonment is in “violation of international law” and that there is a “systemic problem with arbitrary detention” of numerous environmental defenders in Vietnam. Also targeted were former Obama Foundation scholar, Ms. Hoang Thi Minh Hong, founder of the environmental group CHANGE VN; Ms. Ngo Thi To Nhien, Executive Director of Vietnam Initiative for Energy Transition, an independent Vietnamese energy think tank; Goldman environmental prize winner Nguy Thi Khanh; and Mai Phan Loi and Bach Hung Duong from the Center for Media in Educating Community.

These environmental defenders are instrumental in highlighting the gaps between government commitments and actual action. The lack of safeguards for environmental rights defenders within the JETP framework is deeply concerning for the future accountability of states.

For jailing climate activists and shutting down civil society space on climate issues, Vietnam is well deserving of a Fossil of the Day.



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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