Canada wins yet another fossil of the day for calling a fundamental principle of the UNFCCC a “sidecar” issue

Amara Possian

Canada has won its 6th Fossil of the Day award for calling one of the fundamental principles of the UNFCCC – ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’ – a ‘sidecar’ issue in this morning’s press conference. Common but Differentiated Responsibilities refers to the fact that developed countries must act first and do more to reduce their greenhouse gas pollution due to their historically higher emissions and their historically more carbon-intensive development paths.

Amber accepts Canada’s 1st place award while “Common But Differentiated Responsibilities” is left behind. Photo by Linh Do.

The Fossil of the Day is an award voted on and presented by over 400 leading international organizations to the country who has done the most to disrupt or undermine the UN climate  negotiations.

This is the text of the award as it was presented:


“In a briefing with journalists this morning, Canada’s environment minister dismissed the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” as a “sidecar” issue.

It’s a pretty convenient stance for a country with in the global top 10 of greenhouse gas emitters, with one of the world’s strongest economies. But maybe it’s not surprising that Canada considers differentiated responsibilities to be nothing but a distracting side issue — after all, this is the same government that decided Kyoto targets were optional.

With that kind of attitude, it’s not surprising that the rest of world has started to consider Canada a “sidecar” country.


The minority Conservative government seems to care more about getting the oil into the tank than the safety of the passengers.”

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