Climate action group believes US is blocking progress on global heating by rejecting payments to poorer countries
The US has been named the “colossal fossil” of the Cop27 climate talks by campaigners who criticised the country for its intransigence in providing support to developing countries hit hardest by the climate crisis.
The “award”, unveiled at a ceremony featuring a person dressed as a dinosaur, is an annual event staged by Climate Action Network International to shame the countries deemed to be blocking climate progress.
The US took this year’s unwanted title for so far failing to back the creation of a new “loss and damage” fund, tentatively backed by the European Union, that would provide money to poorer countries suffering severe climate impacts.
John Kerry, the US climate envoy, has said the US is open to discussing the idea over the next two years, although it is wary of opening itself up to any sort of liability for the damages its huge historical emissions have caused.
“Sadly, the US traded its supposed climate ambition for some dino-sized hypocrisy at this summit,” said Jean Su, energy justice director at the Center for Biological Diversity. Su said that the US has not only blocked loss and damage financing but is pushing ahead with new gas infrastructure on the Gulf of Mexico coast.
“In these closing hours of Cop27 the US can still show its climate chops, commit to a loss and damage fund and push for a fossil fuel phaseout in the final text,” she added.
“Dishonourable mentions” in the awards went to Russia for bringing a large contingent of fossil fuel lobbyists and to the “climate disaster” caused by Brazil under the outgoing government of Jair Bolsonaro. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Bolsonaro’s successor as Brazilian president, has, however, received a largely warm welcome from activists at Cop27 due to his promises to stamp out deforestation in the Amazon.