Promoted by the Climate Action Network (CAN), the Fossil of the Day awards countries that work hardest to halt the global transition process towards a more sustainable future.
By Paulo Lima
Every day at COP28, precisely at 6 PM, a group of activists from the Climate Action Network (CAN) awards the “Fossil of the Day” to countries that work hardest to halt the global transition process towards a more sustainable future.
Today’s first award was given to Brazil. The jury, composed of CAN members who vote for the countries judged to have done the “best” to obstruct progress in negotiations, justified their choice: “Last year’s COP enthusiasm was tangible, with Lula’s Brazil promising to be a breath of fresh air as a climate champion. But, as Uncle Ben in Spider-Man would say, ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ Brazil is today’s Fossil of the Day winner, as it seems to have mistaken oil production for climate leadership. Brazil’s dash for oil undermines the efforts of Brazilian negotiators in Dubai who are trying to overcome old deadlocks and act with a sense of urgency.”
According to CAN, Brazil’s Energy Minister, Alexandre Silveira, found it oddly appropriate to announce the OPEC+ membership on the first day of the conference. “In line with this skewed logic, they must be thinking: might as well go all the way, as they planned to auction off 603 new oil blocks on December 13, just one day after the end of COP28. This can’t just be a coincidence, right?”
It’s no surprise that Brazil received the “Fossil of the Day” title. The last time Brazil received this symbolic “honor” was at COP26 in Glasgow, for the “terrible treatment of indigenous people by the Brazilian government.”
In a statement, Greenpeace Brazil says it’s “unacceptable that the same country claiming to defend the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C now wants to align with the world’s largest oil producers.” Today’s award is a reminder to the Brazilian government that this move is a completely misguided and dangerous decision, as well as a wrong way to start building bridges for COP30, which will take place in Belém.
“This inconsistency complicates the lives of Brazilian negotiators and may jeopardize their position when demanding more ambitious goals from developed countries,” says Leandro Ramos, program director of Greenpeace Brazil.
A “dishonorable” mention goes to South Africa for its recent decision to expand coal mining operations, violating its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The “Fossil of the Day” awards were first given during the climate negotiations in 1999, in Bonn, promoted by the German NGO Forum.