The Future is Equal

Oxfam Aotearoa: Fossil of the Day award “embarrassing”

Oxfam Aotearoa has criticised the New Zealand government for winning the runner up for the “Fossil of the Day” award that Minister James Shaw received at COP26 overnight. The award, presented by the Climate Action Network (CAN), is given to the nation who has hindered COP26 negotiations the most. Oxfam Aotearoa Campaign Lead Alex Johnston said:

“It is embarrassing that our government is receiving such an ‘award’ on a global stage. This is not a good representation of Kiwis; this is not our kaupapa.”

CAN pointed out that the New Zealand government put out a revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) the night before COP, which Oxfam Aotearoa and other organisations said was inconsistent with the Paris Agreement due to its unambitious 2030 target. Oxfam previously reprimanded the updated NDC saying that it relies heavily on paying other countries to do the work for us. As CAN said in their release put out today:

“[Minister Shaw] said that just because a refreshing of the NDC has been asked of countries ‘it doesn’t mean we have to’. This comes from a country that gives off the ‘greener than thou’ vibe at the drop of a hobbits hat. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised when it was brought to our attention that he’s also the guy who put out a revised NDC the night before COP. That one wasn’t worth the wait, unfortunately.  Civil society commentators widely regarded it as a Grade A hatchet job, inconsistent with Paris temperature goals, wholly unambitious on 2030 target and relying heavily on carbon markets.”

Johnston says that the New Zealand government can’t tell other countries to close the ambition gap for 1.5 degrees if we are not willing to do that ourselves:

“The government’s delay to the Emissions Reduction Plan means we are falling further and further behind. We also can’t call for transparency when our NDC hides the fact that domestic emissions will only be cut by around 7-9% below 2005 levels by 2030 on a net-net basis.

“For Minister Shaw to undermine the encouragement to return with greater NDCs in 2022 before the final text has been agreed is extremely disappointing. It’s a reflection of the laggard pace of our domestic action. Each day we delay bolder action means more people go hungry, lose their homes and die.

“Minister Shaw needs to come back from Glasgow with the clear message: Aotearoa New Zealand must scale up our domestic response and increase ambition each year until we are doing our fair share to keep global heating to 1.5 degrees.”