If Fossil of the Day, an award given to the worse performers at the UN climate change negotiations, were like the Olympics, then Australia would be first in the gold medal tally.
Wilful ignorance and denial of climate change from some of its leaders saw Australia in the spotlight once again. For a fourth time Australia was named Fossil of the Day for not understanding what a “long-term temperature limit” is. It’s simple, our survival is contingent on ensuring that temperatures don’t rise above 2°C.
While Australia was outside being lambasted for its poor performance, the negotiations saw an interesting turn of events with a surprise announcement to the Green Climate Fund. This comes on the heels of Australia repeatedly stating that it would not be contributing to the fund, preferring instead to arguably fulfill their climate finance commitments through international aid programs. Ironic given that Australia’s contribution will likely come out of its, recently cut, foreign aid budget.
Additionally, the NGO community have been quick to point out that this pledge falls short of Australia’s fair share, a sentiment shared by Australian Greens party leader Christine Milne. In a cameo role, Milne was quick to point out that the Australian government is failing at understanding facts commonly held by its citizens. Milne said she was ashamed that Australia “was acting as a pariah in these talks”.
On the heels of resounding boos Australia is certainly proving that it is the best at being the worst at COP20. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. Oi, oi, oi.