Germany and Australia Win Fossils, While G77 Gets a Ray

A Short-sighted Germany Goes Off Target

Our first Fossil goes to Germany for increasing its emissions in 2017 and risking missing its 2020 targets for emission reductions.

Germany, our hospitable host, where did you go wrong?

Is this the same country that provided funding to the Adaptation Fund last week? The so called "climate chancellor" who got G7 leaders to agree to decarbonize the global economy?

Even our tired brains know that yes, it is the same country and that same chancellor! But somehow in the middle of all this, the German government seems to have forgotten about the most important part of being a climate leader: reducing your emissions. 

There’s no arguing with science (though some do try); if your emissions go up, temperatures will not go down and if your fossil fuel use goes up, you will not decarbonize the global economy.

The preliminary emissions statistics for Germany for 2017 were just released and they are not pretty. German greenhouse gas emissions are going to increase this year, due to an increase in oil, natural gas, and lignite consumption. German emissions have not decreased since 2009. Chancellor Merkel's successive governments have failed to address climate change at home for years. The Chancellor has preferred to listen to the fossil fuel industry, energy intensive companies, and the powerful carmakers, rather than the people who demand strong climate action. Germany is currently projected to dramatically miss its domestic 2020 target of 40% emissions reductions – unless the next government acts decisively and shuts down coal fired power plants and also begins a low-carbon transition in the transport, industry and agriculture sector. 

Germany, be the leader that you claim to be!


Australia Continues to Play Dirty

Another day, another Fossil for Australia – someone seems to be keen on earning the colossal Fossil!

In a continuing show of being the biggest bully on the playground, yesterday, at a joint session on Loss and Damage, negotiators were debating about increasing the resources of the WIM (Warsaw International Mechanism) and exploring new and innovative sources for support, which would give a stronger voice to the most vulnerable countries on earth. However, Australia proposed to eliminate the two most important outcomes that the G77 was pushing for. 

Rather than being constructive and proposing solutions to allow a clear process on loss and damage, Australia proposed to delete two essential paragraphs: paragraph 8, which included the creation of a permanent item for discussion about issues related to Loss and Damage under the SBI and paragraph 18 which was an opportunity to explore sources of finance. What’s more is Australia made the proposal, while the G77 coordinator was struggling to find consensus and agreement from superiors. 

Australia’s attitude shows a sense of disregard for the important discussion on loss and damage. But hey, were we expecting a better attitude from you? 


The G77 Shines a Ray on Loss and Damage

The developing country group, G77 wins today’s ray of the day award for joining together to stand up for vulnerable country members facing the worst impacts of climate change, in the face of fierce opposition from rich countries.  

Joel Suarez Orozco, as the coordinator for G77, has, for the first time since Warsaw, brought together the group and has furthered the case for vulnerable countries to receive the support they deserve – in addition to pushing the loss and damage body to get a mandate from the COP that will allow it to be effective.

In particular, a major contribution was made to the preamble, which states that Parties note with concern the increased frequency and severity of climate-related disasters. This provided a concrete reference for confronting realities and not allowing those in Annex 1 countries to duck away.

The G77 is standing behind those most vulnerable – the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), however this wasn’t enough to convince the big bullies of Australia and the US.

When asked about the recent climate-related disasters and increased impacts, Australia acknowledged the events, but questioned if it was due to climate change. Mr. Orozco was quick to counter with an impassioned plea, “When your island is destroyed when the roof of your house is gone, you know it´s climate change.”

At this Pacific COP, we cannot ignore those that are the most vulnerable, we must take a stand.


About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1100 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. 

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 or in the implementation of the Paris Agreement

Fossil Germany Ray G77 COP 23

Support CAN

Help us build power in the climate movement by contributing a one-time or recurring donation that will go to supporting our global work as well as various activities and campaigns in communities in different regions.

Donate to CAN

Stay informed

Subscribe to receive monthly updates on the latest on the climate movement including the content from across the network, upcoming climate change events, news articles and opinion pieces on climate, straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter