Friday, December 13, 2019

Brazil wins Colossal Fossil Award at COP25 for Amazon deforestation, land grabbing



The UN climate conference is scheduled to finish on Friday December 13, but almost certainly it will not, held to ransom in particular by a few countries doing much of the blocking. Those countries include Australia, USA and Brazil.

The Final day of COP is the day when Climate Action Network award the Colossal Fossil award for being the worst of the worst./ While Australia was leading the tally scoreboard for daily Fossilof the Day Awards, by acclimation the Climate Action Network decided to use it's perogative and and appoint another country, although one that has been given Fossil awards at COP25. Step forward Brazil. A country that has been doing an extrarordinary amount of blocking in the negotiations in the climate conference, but also a country reversing gains that have been made in previous years with allowing more land grabbing, deforrestation f the Amazon disrupting indigenous communities, and allowing the murder of environmental defenders.

The one light of the day, highlighted by a Ray of the Year award, is the continuing resistance by indigenous people from the Amazon to Australia against fossil fuel extractivism and land clearing, upholding traditional culture and knowledge and environmental integity. Similarly, the youth uprising with Fridays for Future and climate strike provides a measure of hope in action.



Official Award Citation For Colossal Fossil Award & Ray of the Year

Today the winner of the Colossal fossil may not come as a surprise to many. Yes there is a country that really outdone others in destroying the climate concretely on the ground and in the negotiations, attacking and killing the very people who are protecting unique ecosystems: indigenous people.

Brazil is the winner of CAN´s COP25 colossal fossil

What a difference a year makes. Cradle of the UNFCCC and widely praised for impressive emission cuts in the last decade, Brazil has become a climate pariah. Eleven months into the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro, the South American country has joined the United States as one of the main threats to the Paris Agreement.

Bolsonaro, self-dubbed “Capitan Chainsaw”, has managed to kill environmental policies that helped Brazil achieve spectacular emission reductions in the past decade. The results were the highest Amazon deforestation rates in a decade, a spike in land invasions and the murder of three indigenous leaders just this week. The government is also cracking down on environmentalists – who Bolsonaro famously blamed for setting fire to the jungle.

Environment minister and climate denier Ricardo Salles led Brazil’s delegation at COP25, gagging diplomats and trying to blackmail rich countries into giving him cash to increase deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. That of course didn’t pan out, so Salles started criticizing his own country’s NDC.

Brazil had some bizarre behaviors in Madrid, such as blocking mention to human rights on article 6.4 and opposing language on “climate emergency” in the COP decision. And the usual ones, like insisting on lose accounting rules for article 6.4 and on flooding the market with rotten Kyoto credits in order to appease old lobbies that got pink badges for Madrid – unlike civil society. Jair Bolsonaro is a walking carbon bomb who no doubt deserves this great achievement, the Colossal Fossil.

And much more.

Watch the acceptance speech for Brazil and the Ray of the Day (6minutes)



Ray of the Year goes to Indigenous People and the Youth

Despite continuous discrimination and risk, indigenous people have fought to save the environment since the beginning of time. Today more than ever and despite suffocating closing on their space, they continue to fight at the forefront of climate struggles. For this and for simply existing and challenging systemized monocultures, they systematically get oppressed - often having to hold space with patience, love, and resilience, despite all the violence they face on a daily basis. This COP25, which originally was supposed to be held in Chile, where access was easier, was a golden opportunity to express themselves. But another oppressive government decided to change that and the COP shifted to Madrid. Still, they showed up and raised their voices. Despite exclusion and silencing, they continue to safeguard environmental and cultural diversity and integrity..

Young people around the world have mobilized millions of people to march on the streets, fighting desperately for their lives and their future. It’s not inspiring - indeed it’s downright depressing - that they have to mobilise like this just to get a halfway decent future, but it’s their resilience, their courage, and their determination to never let politicians get away with destruction of their hopes and dreams that is truly inspiring. They have been called radical, yet what is truly radical is to continue blitzing the world with fossil fuels. What’s truly radical, is to pretend that the cost of action is somehow greater than the cost of inaction; the cost of the future, the cost of entire civilisations.

Young people’s mobilisation forced Governments to act, demonstrated the power of the people, and inspired so many.

These beacons of hope deserve CAN´s Ray of the Year. Power to the people.

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 (www.unfccc.int), 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.

All award citations and video summaries at Climate Action network Fossil of the Day

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