Monday, November 18, 2013

Australia wins unprecedented fourth Fossil of the Day award for finance stance

While 30,000 people rallied for climate action in Melbourne, and an estimated 60,000 nationally at 130 events across Australia, it seems Australia has won an unprecedented fourth fossil of the day award in Warsaw for a statement that obligations for new, predictable and reliable finance from developed countries are “not realistic” and “not acceptable.”

As the citation points out, this amounts to "an attack on an important cornerstone of the UNFCCC." That developed countries due to their historic emissions have an obligation and commitment to provide funding for developing countries for climate mitigation and adaptation.

Earlier this week Australia won Fossil awards for repeal of carbon pricing and abandoning neighbors on loss and damage. Australia started the week at COP19 winning the first Fossil of the Day award for not be putting forward any new finance commitments.

The citiation reads:

After being handed their first fossil, on Monday, for refusing to make any new finance commitments, Australia has today gone even further with their nasty rhetoric, willfully and completely undermining the very concept of climate finance. The Australians said obligations for new, predictable and reliable finance from developed countries are “not realistic” and “not acceptable.” This is nothing short of an attack on an important cornerstone of the UNFCCC.

In the same statement, Australia said that climate finance “is not welfare transfer. Indeed. Climate finance isn’t welfare – it’s a moral obligation (sorry Australia, it might not be acceptable to you, but it’s true) and a legal commitment that developed countries have made because of their responsibility in causing climate change.

New, additional, adequate and predictable finance – which must primarily be public money if it is to reach the poorest countries and communities and meet UNFCCC obligations – is not an optional part of the UNFCCC. It’s a key building block without which the entire international climate architecture falls apart.

Whether or not this is Australia’s explicit intention in making its comments yesterday (we wouldn’t dare jump to conclusions), it clearly deserves a First Place Fossil award.

This is more contempt by the Abbott Government for climate justice and the finance required to assist many of our neighboring countries in the Asia Pacific region, such as the Marshall Islands and the Philippines, to make climate adaptations as a result of climate change from emissions caused mostly by developed countries.


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