Third prize: CANADA
Canada takes third for walking out of a high-level negotiation meeting long before the end of a crucial discussion. Yesterday, a “Friends of the Chair” meeting brought together 40 key ministers to work through tough issues that officials had not been able to resolve. In the midst of this, Canadian Environment Minister John Baird abruptly got up and left. Where was he going? He was spotted moments later holding a drink at a negotiation-free cocktail reception.
First prize: USA, CANADA, JAPAN, and RUSSIA
The USA, Canada, Japan, and Russia share top honours—er, bottom dishonours—for relentlessly blocking any reference to the 25-40% cuts by 2020 in the Bali road map. The science couldn’t be clearer that cuts in this range are necessary to avert the worst of the climate crisis. Russia initiated the removal of the targets several days ago, and the USA, Canada, and Japan have fought to ensure that they don’t come back in. It’s like they’re piloting the Titanic, refusing to change course; except instead of merely hitting icebergs, they’re melting them.
Looking at the bigger picture, a real nail biter for the coveted "Fossil Of The Year":
When you step back and consider the facts, namely that Canada contributes only 2% of the world's greenhouse gases, it really is staggering that we make such a negative impression. I read this reality as a testament to just how divisive, hypocritical and damaging Canada has become during these negotiations.