The First Place Fossil again goes to Australia. Withdrawing from climate action and finance for developing countries is already like a slap in the face of those suffering from the impacts of climate change. Simply expressing solidarity with the Philippines, as they did on Wednesday in the loss and damage negotiations, is not sufficient to repair the damage Australia caused.
Even worse, in the same negotiations, Australia gave a gold star performance in obtrusiveness. Their first point was to attach conditions and list the things Australia would not broach talking about. This included objecting to rehabilitation funds – even though this is an area of work already agreed to last year.
Then Australia objected to provisions of insurance in the Convention process – even though insurance is indeed mentioned in the Convention. They insisted that the work programme on loss and damage should be ended when institutional arrangements are agreed, although many Parties have highlighted the usefulness of past work programme activities in their submissions, and a substantial discussion on the future activities has yet to happen.
Happily in contrast to Australia – the majority of other countries showed a constructive spirit. However, Japan gets a dishonorable mention for supporting Australia’s obstructive and belligerent stance.