Canada wins first, second, and third place Fossil of the Day Award in Cancun today. The award is given daily to the country who has done the most to disrupt and undermine negotiations.
As the most salient and recent climate offense, Canada’s first place award is granted for killing the Climate Change Accountability Act. Our second place award goes for Federal efforts to gut climate change programs, including:
- The only major federal support program for renewable energy program funding energy efficiency upgrades for homeowners
- Funding for Canada’s climate science foundation
- Clean fuels policies in other countries.
And our third place award goes for a general commitment to regain title of “colossal fossil“: the country making the least constructive contribution to the negotiations.
While the Fossil Award is intended to evoke drama in what can often be a dull process, there is a more somber underlying message. In only the first day of negotiations Canada has been viewed by the international environmental community as being sufficiently obstructive to receive all three prizes.
The Fossil prize is granted the same day the Montreal Gazette published e-mail excerpts from the Canadian Embassy in 2008. In one particularly forthright exchange, Canadian Embassy staff person Jason Tolland wrote to government trade lawyers “we hope that we can find a solution to ensure that the oil keeps a-flowing.”
While this quote is not dressed in diplomat-speak, does it perhaps show the underlying focus of Canadian policy in Cancun – to keep the oil a-flowing? I sure hope not. I hope to see Canada lose its status in the Fossil ceremonies in Cancun, and I’m sure many folks at home do too.
Check out a brief clip of the award here, or the whole 8 minute performance below.
Full footage courtesty of OneWorld TV.
About the authorJoanna Dafoe
Joanna is an advocate for climate leadership on both the UN and community level. She attended the Montreal, Bali, and Copenhagen climate meetings with the Canadian Youth Delegation. Outside the UNFCCC, Joanna has been active in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development where she attended the 16th and 17th sessions as a youth representative. Currently living in Sweden on exchange, she calls Edmonton and Toronto her home.