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And the Fossil Awards go to…

Munnabhai does it with flowers and a hug,the NGOs do it with an award. It’s about shaming the bad guys for their bad behaviour.

Written by Amitabh Sinha | Copenhagen |
December 11, 2009 3:47:45 am

Munnabhai does it with flowers and a hug,the NGOs do it with an award. It’s about shaming the bad guys for their bad behaviour.

Hundreds of NGOs gathered here at the conference give away awards daily to the three countries that are voted to be the most obstructive,during the day’s negotiations. They call it the Fossil of the Day awards. Quite a popular event in the evening,the awards ceremony gives the conference participants an opportunity to mock at the countries that are seen to be irresponsible on climate change. It is hoped that the countries would be sufficiently shamed to mend their ways and adopt a more responsible approach.

“People need to know that behind the closed doors,which country is doing what. Which country is promoting the cause of a sustainable future and which is blocking it. We try to expose the countries for their behaviour,” said Vanessa Bulkacz,communications manager of Climate Action Europe,a large network of over 400 NGOs that organises the awards.

In the first three days of the conference,Ukraine has already won two Fossils,both on the second day. Ukraine put forward the worst emissions reduction target in the world — a -20 per cent reduction by 2020 from 1990 levels,which actually translates into a 75 per cent increase from the current levels. Its second award the same day was given for refusing to tell anyone how it was using its money from selling emission credits.

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However,as Katherine Trajan of Delta Alliance said,the single most frequent winner of the Fossils has been Canada ever since the awards were instituted at the fifth Conference of Parties (CoP5) in Bonn in 1999.

So do the Fossils succeed in shaming the countries? Trajan says some countries are very sensitive to ridicule and clarify their stand on being given the award. But others simply chose to ignore.

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