It’s not every COP that we’re lucky enough to be awarded Fossil of the Day twice, but here we are. This time, we came in second place (along with the US and Canada) for something as simple as language – but at a conference where words and brackets are everything, this isn’t too surprising.
The issue is over the word ‘compensation’ for loss and damage, which refers to how much aid poorer countries receive in the wake of extreme climate disasters. New Zealand wanted to take it out. By refusing to acknowledge that the money given would be ‘compensating’ for the damage that developed countries have caused, rather than simply helping them out, New Zealand has shunned one of the most significant issues for our Pacific neighbours.
Once again, the Government has embarrassed New Zealanders.
Julie Anne Genter was there to receive the award on New Zealand’s behalf.
Meanwhile, a new draft text has been released, this time considerably shorter than the last. If you’re interested in reading it, you can find it here.
If you’re not one for reading through so much jargon, then you might be more at home reading a Google doc running commentary from two Kiwis, Ryan Mearns and Hamish Laing. They’re making international headlines – including Buzzfeed – for providing the only true source of information about what is actually happening at the negotiations. Ryan and Hamish are at COP21 with the Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute.