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Canada Named Top "Fossil" at Kenya Climate Talks

Date: 17-Nov-06
Country: KENYA
Author: Daniel Wallis

With just a day left at talks to fight global warming in Nairobi, Canada had racked up the most "fossil of the day" prizes handed out by environmentalists to nations they say have delayed, obstructed or stalled the negotiations.

As delegates boo-ed loudly, activist Maia Green said Canada had won joint first and second place on Thursday for, among others things, "misleading" the world, "repudiating" the Kyoto Protocol and "flagrantly ... washing its political laundry on the international stage".

Then she placed an oil lamp and Canadian flag on a podium in front of a poster of a fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus rex. Burning fossil fuels like coal is a big source of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming -- hence the name.

First launched in 1999 at the annual climate convention of 190 nations, the "fossil of the day" award has named-and-shamed countries deemed to have failed by the Climate Action Network (CAN) of green non-governmental organisations.

While provides a daily dose of light relief, organisers say winners find it harder than you might think to laugh off.

A Canadian delegate stormed away and refused to talk to reporters after his country won a "fossil" prize this week.

Canada has been slammed at the Kenya talks, which are trying to agree a successor to Kyoto, mostly for saying it would be "very, very difficult" for it to meet its promised cuts in the emission of greenhouse gases.

Other "fossil" winners have included Australia, Saudi Arabia, the E.U. and United States.

US President George W. Bush, whose country has rejected Kyoto, was being honoured as "Fossil of the Century".

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