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The COP host, Poland, earns today’s First Place Fossil for aggressively promoting coal.
The Polish government is endorsing the International Coal and Climate Summit. The Polish Ministry of Economy and the World Coal Association developed “The Warsaw Communiqué”, a statement claiming “there is a misconception that the use of coal is incompatible with meeting the challenge of climate change”, contrary to the fact that coal combustion is the largest contributor to the human-made increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.
As the UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres said at the summit today, most of the known reserves of coal will have to stay in the ground if we are to secure a safe climate.
Also, today 27 scientists released a joint statement discrediting “high efficiency coal” promoted at the coal summit. The scientists confirm that the unabated burning of coal will make it impossible to secure a safe climate.
Poland could halve its coal demand, boost energy from renewable sources to over 25 per cent and create 100,000 jobs by 2030, but instead, the government plans to increase Poland’s emissions even after 2020 . . .
Read complete Fossil texts at www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day
In a case of doubling down on a dastardly display, Australia was handed the First Place Fossil of the Day award for an unprecedented fourth time in a row at the Warsaw climate negotiations.
This is getting silly, folks. It’s almost like the new Australian Government is trying to compete with Canada for being handed the most fossils in a UNFCCC session.
After 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.
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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.
The First Place Fossil goes to Australia. Many would have thought that Australia’s position at COP19 couldn’t have got much worse after the dismantling of its climate change department, ridding itself of the burden of a climate change minister and intending to remove its carbon price during COP. But we thought wrong.
Yesterday, the Australian media revealed that Australia will not be putting forward any new finance commitments in Warsaw. This is despite the crushing losses suffered by the Philippines this week, illustrating Australia’s lack of understanding as to the purpose of climate finance. To top it off, Australian cabinet ministers characterize climate finance as ‘socialism masquerading as environmentalism’ – we have news for you, it’s not socialism, its equity and it’s your responsibility.
Ray of Solidarity Special recognition
The Ray of the Solidarity, goes to the Philippines. The lead negotiator called for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country this past weekend. Super Typhoon Haiyan was nothing the world has ever experienced.