Australia wins ‘worst’ award at Bonn climate talks

Protest against fossil fuels on November 4. Photo: Takver/flickr.

Climate activists awarded Australia the very first “Fossil of the Day” at the UN Climate Conference in Bonn, being held from November 6-17. This award is given daily to the country judged to be doing the best to block effective progress on climate change.

Australia got the award for actively supporting the development of coal mining in the Galilee Basin, particularly the Adani project. Fittingly, Australia was presented the award by Pacific Islanders, who are very vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Poland, who will be hosting next year’s climate talks, came a close second. Poland was nominated for actively trying to turn the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme into a coal subsidy scheme.

Both Australia and Poland are considered “baddies” in the climate talks, so expect more awards to come. Perhaps Australia might even score the Colossal Fossil — the award given to the worst country during the whole of the climate talks. We won the big one in 2013 and 2014, when Tony Abbott was PM.

[Andrea Bunting is a Melbourne-based climate activist who is part of the Climate Action Network Australia delegation at COP23.]

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