Wednesday, December 11, 2019

4th Fossil Award to Australia at COP25 over 0/100 on climate policy, Kyoto carryover credits, climate inaction

Sydney student climate striker Daisy accepts Fossil award for Australia

Australia received it's 4th Fossil of the Day award of the UN climate Conference COP25 on Tuesday 10 December, 2019. Seventeen year old student climate striker accepted the award with great sadness and frustration and calling for action (Transcript below)

The Climate Change Performance Index ranked Australia at 56 of 61 countries assessed, near the bottom of the list. For Climate policy Australia received a zero score. Can we sink any lower?

The bushfires in Australia are unprecedented, with the air in Sydney choking with smoke, the beaches and seas black with ash. Meanwhile, Scott Morrison has rejected calls for more bushfire help, saying volunteer firefighters 'want to be there', according to the Guardian.

Sydney resident and Climate Striker Daisy accepted the Fossil award on behalf of Australia, and made an emotional appeal for climate ambition and action.

"It is with great sadness, frustration and anger that I accept this Fossil of the Day award for my Government that seems unable to accept the reality of climate change.

"I got sent photos by my family this morning. People can't go out in the streets of my city of Sydney, people cannot breathe, peoples lings aree collapsing, ash is raining down from the sky, and our Prime Minister has said absolutely nothing except for the fact that our volunteer fire fighters want to be out there fighting the fires for free.

"To the north of Sydney, to the west of Sydney, to the south of Sydney everything is burning. Our Koalas are going extinct. People have lost their homes, some people have even lost their lives. The question I really want to ask is how many lives and homes to be lost is it going to take our government to care about to actually take some action.

Being here and seeing the actual lack of action from our government, our government trying to sneak away from being accountable is such an embarrassment for my county, such an embarrassment for my people.

"Climate Change is now the number one concern in Australia and our government continues to ignore that. We are meant to be a representative democracy, our government is giving no indication of that. It is horrific.

"So again, it is with great sadness and frustration that I accept this Fossil of the Day. I really encourage Australia, I implore our Australian government to do more, to do right by the people, to do right by the market, do right by the times, and lets get some action."

Enele Sopoaga, diplomat and former Prime Minister of Tuvalu, accepted a Ray of the Day award on behalf of the Climate Vulnerable Forum for their continued climate leadership such as the Mad 4 Survival campaign (See related interview with Enele Sopoaga)

Fossil award Citation

The Fossil of the Day celebration almost didn’t happen today. But great news! Fossil of the Day is celebrating Human Rights Day today after all with one fossil and one Ray!

Who better to celebrate Human Rights Day with than the people on the frontline of climate change, those who are fighting the tough fight and yet strong enough to raise climate ambition and champion human rights.

This is why we are awarding the Ray of the Day to the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).

The most vulnerable countries to climate change are experiencing mass climate disaster right here and now while wealthy countries block action and enjoy their blood money.

Large emitters who caused this mess are doing nothing to fix it or to support people living in the frontlines of climate disaster. Instead of retiring into despair, CVF are getting up and leading from the front, enhancing their climate plans and championing human rights. 

Last week the Marshall Islands President and CVF Chair Hilda Heine called for the establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and Climate Change, pledging $50,000 to support this work. Yes, poor countries are pledging money for human rights, while rich countries here work hard to make sure that the Paris Agreement is void of human rights text.

We are awarding a massive fossil to Australia!

Australia has outdone itself in its latest performance on climate ambition. In an entirely fossil-worthy result Australia has just received a massive gong in the annual Climate Change Performance Index released today by Germanwatch, New Climate Institute and the Climate Action Network. Australia ranked sixth  from the absolute bottom of 57 countries and the EU. What really jumps out is that while the Australian government is saying that it is taking meaningful action on climate change, it received a ZERO out of 100 on climate policy in the CCPI. On any measure zero is an outright failure! It’s no wonder that Australia’s climate pollution has been going up and up under the current government.
To add insult to injury, the Australian government is working hard at COP25 to ensure that it can use ‘carryover’ units from the Kyoto Protocol to meet almost 60% of its very deficient NDC. Such carryover would effectively reduce Australia’s NDC to somewhere below 16% by 2030! 
Extreme fires continue to burn in Australia destroying lives and properties and leaving residents of Sydney barely able to breathe without face masks. White-sand beaches have turned black with ash. Experts have linked these fires to the very real impacts of climate damage, yet the government is failing on climate policy and working here at COP25 to replace real action with an accounting exercise, a move that could impact the integrity of commitments made under the Paris Agreement. We think this is worthy of a Fossil of the Day!

About the fossils:
Every day at 18:00 local time you can watch the Fossil ceremony in Hall 4 during COP25.

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.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1,300 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

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