The humorous Fossil awards, given to countries judged to have done their "best" to block progress at the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, culminated with the Fossil of the Year award, presented on December 7, the final day of the conference.
The year's Fossil, also called the Colossal Fossil, went to Canada and New Zealand, marking the fifth year Canada has won the award.
"It seems Canada is refusing to bow out gracefully into the irrelevance that comes with being an historic climate laggard," said the Climate Action Network (CAN), a group of roughly 700 NGOs whose members voted to select this year's Fossils.
New Zealand had "fought hard" to unseat the 5-time Colossal Fossil winner, CAN noted. "Although Canada can share the honor for one more year, Fossil feels that Canada's tar sands are, frankly, giving Canada an unfair advantage in this competition – Canada has been carbon doping!" the organization said.
New Zealand's emissions are similar in scale to the Canadian tar sands, and it has demonstrated exceptional blindness to scientific and political realities, according to CAN.
Tar sands, or oil sands, are a type of unconventional petroleum deposit. Figures from the International Energy Agency show that carbon dioxide emissions from oil sands are 20 percent higher than average emissions from the petroleum production. Oil sands are found in extremely large quantities in Canada.
The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of 700 non-governmental organizations working to promote actions and policies that limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels, both at the government and individual level.
(Reporting from Doha)