It’s Money, Money, Money For Arab Group And India
Cabbage, clam, milk, dosh, dough, shillings, frogskins, notes, duckets, loot, bones, bar, coin, folding stuff, honk, lolly, moola. Any way you say it, it is always about the money!
This is also true for the Paris Agreement. It clearly states that all funds should be spent and invested in the right technologies, projects, and places that will both solve climate change and foster sustainable development. Aligning all financial flows with the Paris goals is absolutely essential to address climate change.
Island nations have proposed that the GEF and the GCF ask their trustee, the World Bank, to report what it is doing to ensure that their money is being invested in good, rather than harmful projects. Public money. Our taxes.
Unfortunately, the Arab Group and India are not fans. Surprisingly, they seem to prefer that the World Bank continues funding fossil fuels, fueling destruction of the same people the climate funds are supposed to help.
The Island States in the Caribbean were devastated when two category 5++ hurricanes – Irma and Maria – struck. In Dominica, the damages in economic terms are upwards of 100% of GDP.
Today AOSIS lost this battle. At this Pacific COP, it is shameful that the Arab Group and India were unable to show solidarity on this key Issue for all the Island States. Let’s see if at the next GCF Board Meeting countries will step up to the challenge and ask their trustee to phase out funding to fossil fuels?
Make America Colossal
The time has come to award the Colossal Fossil!
While we have had some strong contenders (shout out to the Australian bullies), there seems to be only one clear choice. Only one who has been the absolute, hands-down, uncontested worst – the current US administration. Not really that much of a surprise, is it?
I am sure you all remember it well. When Donald Trump announced on June 1st that he intended to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, he isolated himself on the global stage, turning his back on the rest of the world. Now that Syria has ratified, the Trump administration is completely, 100% alone in its rejection of this vital global agreement.
The US is still in the Paris Agreement for at least a few more years.
However, there is no doubt about the administration’s position on climate action. They’re attacking domestic climate policies such as the Clean Power Plan and fuel efficiency standards.
They’re propping up dirty energy by proposing a bailout for coal.
They’re attempting to censor science, deleting any mention of climate change from documents and websites and issuing gag orders to government scientists.
Last but not least, they sent fossil fuel cronies to represent the US at COP.
The Trump team tried to bring their backwards agenda to Bonn. The US administration’s only official side event was to promote fossil fuels. But the world was there to show: You can’t sell coal at a conference to stop climate change! Prompted by a journalist’s question, two of the four panelists explicitly said they disagree with Trump’s effort to pull out of the Paris Agreement. When even your fossil-fuel-funded panelists don’t agree with your decision, you know you’re on the wrong side of history. (As if there was any doubt before.)
But there is a ray of light. US mayors, governors, business leaders, university presidents, and committed individuals from all fifty states and every walk of life are standing by the Paris Agreement and with the World, against the climate crisis. More than 100 of them came to Bonn to showcase their commitments. Many others mobilized for a Day of Action across the US to send the message that they are still in, too. They all give us hope. Americans
Unfortunately, this ray of hope does not replace the need for action from the U.S. federal government. All their bad behaviour at home and here at COP should be widely and loudly condemned, they are truly deserving the Colossal Fossil – the undisputed best of the worst.