US, Japan in fossil double

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 11, 2014
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Does anyone have an extra pair of spectacles to lend the US delegation here in Lima? Because they seem to be chronically short-sighted. These delegates represent a country that suffered severe flooding during Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. Yet, with the support of Japan, they are trying to remove adaptation and loss & damage from the ADP Decision text. For this reason our first-place Fossil of the Day award is a dead heat between the USA and Japan.

As highly vulnerable countries and communities know, you can't adapt to your island home going under water, you can't adapt to your farmland becoming desert, and you can't adapt to your family being killed in a typhoon. This is why it is vital for both adaptation and the separate issue of loss & damage to be included in the decision coming out of Lima, and in the final agreement next year.

Now, can we borrow a second pair of spectacles please? This time, it they are for the Polish officials who can't see that the writing is on the wall for the coal industry. IPCC science, people around the world, and country delegations at this COP are all calling for a fossil fuel phase-out. Poland win the second-place Fossil of the Day for being blind to the growing momentum behind the clean energy transition and proposing a range of new coal-related projects as part of a new EU 300 billion Euro stimulus package.

We are not sure that clarity of vision is an issue with our final fossil winner - spectacles won't help here. Instead our third Fossil of the Day winner, Venezuela, could probably benefit from some more time spent with scientific advisors. This morning Venezuela's Minister of Foreign Affairs clearly stated that "the problem of climate change is not because of the production of petrol, but for the irrational use of it". If we want to solve climate change it is important that all countries commit to leave fossil fuels underground and ensure a just transition to a renewable energy future.

It's not all acrimony here in Lima, to show our appreciation for countries that have moved us closer to a fair and comprehensive climate agreement next year in Paris we have three Ray of the Day awards to present. The winners are Germany, Peru and Colombia who have all pledged climate finance that is vital for these negotiations and climate vulnerable countries. Germany pledged around $60 million to the adaptation fund in a demonstration of leadership we expect from all developed countries. Peru then pledged $6 million to the Green Climate Fund, they were soon matched by Colombia who pledged a further $6 million. A useful step forward, I'm sure you'll agree.

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