Day of the Turkey

Forrest Watkins | November 7, 2016.

A day at the UN climate talks cannot go by without the infamous Fossil of the Day awards. Civil society renewed its grand naming and shaming tradition at this year’s meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, naming Turkey as the conference’s first Fossil.

Turkey was the sole recipient, and was awarded this accolade for their agenda request that the negotiations include a discussion on granting Turkey special status under the Paris Agreement and access to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Effectively gaining access to additional finance sources.

The GCF mobilises funding from developed countries for low-emission and climate-resilient development in developing countries. During the awards ceremony, often a whimsical affair, CAN criticised the Turkish request in light of the country’s particularly unambitious climate action pledge, its ongoing failure to ratify the Paris Agreement and how the government inaugurated two coal plants today.

The special status being sought was similar to one that it had previously enjoyed under the Kyoto Protocol. In doing so, Turkey delayed negotiations by close to 45 minutes, and on a request that solely benefit itself and proved futile.

The presidency ultimately quashed Turkey’s bid for a special agenda item to the technicality that such discussions could occur at any time without requiring a special agenda item.

Fossil of the Day is awarded by Climate Action Network (CAN), a network of environmental organisations, to the country or countries they deemed to have played a negative role in the negotiations.

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