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Beijing Review Exclusive
Special> 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference> Beijing Review Exclusive
UPDATED: December 3, 2012 Web Exclusive
U.S., Canada, New Zealand Rack Up Most 'Fossil' Awards
By Yu Shujun

At this week's UN climate change conference in Doha, Qatar, there is a humorous award every day—the Fossil of the Day, presented by the Climate Action Network (CAN).

The Fossil of the Day awards, initiated by the German NGO Forum, were first presented at the Bonn climate talks in 1999. During UN climate change negotiations, members of the CAN vote for countries judged to have done their "best" to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

During the first five days of the Doha conference (November 26-30), the U.S., Canada and New Zealand earned the most 'Fossil of the Day' awards.

On November 26, the First Place Fossil was awarded to the U.S., Canada, Russia, Japan and New Zealand for running away from a legally binding, multilateral rules-based regime.

The U.S. got the award for its disagreement with common accounting rules already in place. Canada's withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol is completely unacceptable and its target is "an insult" to the most vulnerable, the CAN said.

On November 28, Canada won the First Place Fossil for capping support for initiatives rather than capping emissions.

Canada's environment minister told journalists that he would "make it clear" at the meetings in Doha that developing countries shouldn't expect more money towards climate financing from Canada, because after all, Doha "isn't a pledging conference."

The Second Place Fossil of the Day went to New Zealand, again, because it not only decided not to put its targets into the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, but proposed that access to the Clean Development Mechanism should be open to all and should not depend on whether a country is signing up to a second commitment period.

The U.S. got the Third Place Fossil once again for rejecting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On November 30, New Zealand and the U.S. won the First Place Fossil again, for not wanting to advance common accounting rules at Doha.

That day, Canada won the Second Place Fossil of the Day award. CAN said it had hoped if Canada wasn't going to do anything about its emissions, it would at least do its fair share to support those suffering from its soaring pollution levels.

The Climate Action Network is a worldwide network of 700 non-governmental organizations working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.

(Reporting from Doha)

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