Canada’s first first-place fossil for financial failure

Cross-posted at itstheecologystupid.

Yesterday, Canada received the ‘honour’ of a first-place Fossil of the Day (the award is given for bad performance during the negotiations). Though not our first Fossil in Doha, it is our first time owning the top of the podium all to ourselves at COP18.

What did we do this time? In 2012, the Fast Start Finance period closed. Canada contributed around $1.5 billion to projects worldwide as part of this fund, which moves money from the worst polluting countries with the intention of helping developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change effects. To translate the jargon, it means that countries with high emissions are required to give money to those whose home are being drowned by rising sea levels, whose are experiencing massive famine from droughts, and whose family and friends are losing their lives due the effects of massive storms and flooding.

That number alone means nearly nothing, as countries have varied so widely in their reporting that is difficult to compare or determine the efficiency of this money in actually helping affected people on the ground. This fund may be seen as a way to pay off our ecological debt, which Canada, as the seventh highest polluter per capita, is responsible for a lion’s share.

Fast-Start Financing was a $30 billion fund meant to kick start a much larger Green Fund that would contribute $100 billion every year and be partly financed by the private sector. That larger fund remains empty, and according to our environment Minister, no one should expect that to change in Doha. He went on to say that this “isn’t a pledging conference.

We committed to do what it takes to keep global warming at a limit of two degrees beyond pre-industrial levels. For  abdicating our responsibilities by backing even further away, we have been awarded our first first-place fossil.

Based on the way things are going thus far, I suspect this will be the first of many to come.

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