Australia scores Fossil award for new offshore oil exploration, Brazil for bullying indigenous people | Day 5 of COP26
Brazil and Australia won Fossil awards today.
Brazil for intimidation and bullying of indigenous people speaking out.
The Fossil award for Australia is for opening up 10 new areas for offshore oil exploration in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Victoria.
So this Fossil award is earned by Minister for Resources Keith Pitt. His announcement came on Energy Day at COP while commitments were being made to stop financing new fossil fuel projects, countries signing to phase out coal and launch of the methane pledge,
Taxpayers are already footing the bill for the Northern Endeavour oil rig retirement in the Timor Sea due to a loophole in the regulatory system revealed in 2020. The failure to close this loophole raises significant concerns about Exxon and its 23-strong fleet of offshore platforms and installations in the Bass Strait. If the Northern Endeavour situation were to be repeated with Exxon, Australian taxpayers are potentially up for a $4.6 billion clean-up fee.
Earlier this year, Bass Strait partners ExxonMobil and BHP were ordered to plug 180 wells, dismantle ten platforms and tackle life-threatening corrosion after intervention by offshore safety regulator NOPSEMA, according to Boiling Cold report in May..
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE 05/11/21, Glasgow, Scotland
First Prize goes to Brazil
First place in today’s Fossil of the Week goes to Brazil, for its ghastly and unacceptable treatment of indigenous people. On Monday, indigenous activist Txai Suruí, was lauded for her powerful conference speech telling world leaders about the impact climate change is already having on her tribe.
Unfortunately, this didn’t go down too well back home where she was publicly criticised by Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro, for “attacking Brazil”, prompting online trolls to heap abuse on the 24 year-old. Worse still, she was allegedly subjected to bullying from a Brazilian government environment ministry official, who towered over her saying she “shouldn’t bash Brazil”. Worryingly, days later, another Brazilian state representative, with ties to the rural lobby, was detained by conference security for trying to intimidate indigenous women.
Such despicable behaviour is well documented in Brazil; invasions of indigenous lands have skyrocketed; wildcat gold mining is polluting waterways, intimidation is rife and they have a vice-president who justified denying freshwater to Covid-hit villages because “the Indians drink from the rivers”. We could go on to talk about rainforests and deforestation but think you get the idea.
Bolsanaro didn’t bother to go to Glasgow, preferring to visit his ancestral home in Italy and hang out with a far right-leader instead. That was actually a good thing as it allowed the country’s diplomats to come ready to compromise and even subscribe to deals on methane and forests.
All we can hope is that sanity is fully restored after the elections, scheduled to take place next October and progressive policies are implemented that safeguard the land and rights of indigenous people and protect what’s left of the rainforests.
Second prize goes to Australia
Today we are pleased to announce another first for Australia. They are the first country to bag a fossil awards hatrick and there’s still a week to go. And this prestigious gong is presented to mark their truly unbelievable performance on Energy Day.Whilst 190 countries were powering past coal, 100 dutifully had their pens poised to sign the global methane pledge and 20 countries agreed to stop funding international fossil fuel projects, what were our antipodean comrades doing?
Well, sometimes bad things do come in threes, apparently. The world’s number one exporter of gas and number two exporter of coal were setting themselves up for number three with plans to become a huge exporter of oil. These busy bees decided to invite consultation on ten new areas for offshore petroleum exploration, extolling the economic benefits this would bring to the land down under .
What these drongos fail to understand is that here’s no economy on a dead planet. Do the right thing; sign up, pledge and announce plans – for a renewable future. Strewth!
About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their ‘best’ to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1,500 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of more than 1,500 civil society organisations in over 130 countries driving collective and sustainable action to fight the climate crisis and to achieve social and racial justice. CAN convenes and coordinates civil society at the UN climate talks and other international events.