Saudi Arabia Win Big in Fossil Awards

Today’s first Fossil of the Day Award goes to…Saudi Arabia! The Saudi delegation here in Paris is doing its best to keep a meaningful mention of the 1.5 degree global warming limit out of the agreement. The Saudi’s are trying to torpedo three years of hard science, commissioned by governments, that clearly shows 2 degrees warming is too much for vulnerable communities around the world. Saudi Arabia is fighting tooth and nail to ensure the Paris agreement basically says, “thanks, but no thanks” to 1.5 degrees warming. A dishonourable mention also goes to India and China who are also trying to sink a safer temperature target, and the Arab Group for standing silently behind Saudi Arabia – despite the fact that people in all these countries stand to suffer as a result of their actions.

Our second Fossil is a joint award that goes to three stooges, Norway, the USA and Saudi Arabia…again. These jokers are threatening the heart and soul of the transition to a renewable energy powered world we want and need. They are trying to water down essential elements of a just transition (by moving them to the preamble in the text): safeguarding human rights, increasing food security, protecting ecosystem integrity, promoting intergenerational integrity, and increasing gender security. Wait…that’s not very funny. It would be great if some of the ambitious nations in the Arab Group – we know you are out there – would step up and tell Saudi Arabia that no-one is laughing.

For our third and final Fossil of the Day award we nominate Saudi Arabia, AGAIN! Their delegation seems to be happy locking us all into a world that will warm by around 3 degrees, way above any levels deemed safe by scientists. They are blocking a review of national climate action plans (known in UN-speak as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs) in 2018 or sooner, that would allow all countries to boost their ambition and bend the curve of warming further away from catastrophic levels. In doing so they are a ball and chain on the collective ambition of more than 150 countries who have submitted their INDCs. 

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 950 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 115 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 in the last days of talks. 


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