Canada wins 1st and 2nd place fossil awards for bad faith in Durban

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“Canada is here in Durban in bad faith. Countries should be asking themselves why Canada is sitting at the Kyoto negotiating table with a secret plan to formally withdraw from the protocol mere weeks after the talks end.”

From the Climate Action Network (CAN)

Durban, South Africa – The first day of the United Nations climate change negotiations started off badly for Canada. It earned the First Place Fossil of the Day for failing to support a Second Commitment Period for the Kyoto Protocol, and abandoning even its current participation in Kyoto. It also took Second Place Fossil for insulting the Least Developed Countries, some of the nations that will suffer most from Canada and other industrialized countries’ greenhouse gas pollution. Rounding out the awards, the United Kingdom received Third Place for helping to move tar sands oil into Europe.

The Fossils as presented read:

The 3rd place Fossil of the day is awarded to the UK, following revelations that UK Ministers have done a deal with the Canadian government to support the entry of tar sands into the European fuel supply chain, undermining proposed provisions of the European Fuel Quality Directive.

The UK does not appear as frequently as Canada on the fossil roll-call, but when they do, they do it in style. Despite claiming to be the ‘Greenest Government Ever’, the ruling coalition in the UK has become champion for the world’s dirtiest fuels.

The UK might have a different opinion from Canada on the value of the Kyoto Protocol (we hope so), but there is one thing they can agree on – a Government’s best friend is its oil lobby.

The 2nd place Fossil of the day is awarded to Canada following statements by their environment minister that they are coming to Durban to ‘play hardball’ with developing countries. This quotation from Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent, doesn’t even require paraphrasing in typical fossil humour – it is sufficiently outrageous on its own:

‘Emerging and developing countries need to stop “wielding the historical guilty card” and asking for a free pass on emissions reductions just because in the past, industrialized countries had more emissions than the rest of the world’.

Hands off, LDCs; that “free pass” on emissions reductions belongs to Canada!

The 1st place Fossil also goes to Canada. Although Canadian environment Minister said he hoped to win less fossils then his predecessors, he is not off to a very good start! Canada has proven its fossil track record with 4 consecutive fossil of the year awards, but if you can believe it, it seems they are even worse than we thought!

Environment Minister Peter Kent has articulated clearly that they will not budge with international pressure on a second commitment period of Kyoto (a great attitude to have in negotiations). This is unfortunately not necessarily a surprise, Canada has been ‘separated’ from its Kyoto targets for years, but it seems they are headed for divorce.

In fact, reports are saying that on Canada’s side it is already a done deal, and yet hear they are, planning to spend two weeks negotiating a treaty they intend to soon abandon.

This is a tough one for fossil because it is hard to joke about. Canada is here in Durban in bad faith. Countries should be asking themselves why Canada is sitting at the Kyoto negotiating table with a secret plan to formally withdraw from the protocol mere weeks after the talks end.

This move is a slap in the face to the international community. Canada is further isolating itself in these talks as a country that not only is refusing to take meaningful action at home (tar sands anyone?), but also one that does not deserve trust and respect from the international community here in Durban.

Shame on Canada.
About CAN: The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of roughly 500 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) 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.