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Canada named the 'Colossal Fossil' in Copenhagen

Canada was given the 'Fossil of the Year' award at the climate change conference in Copenhagen today for being the worst-performing country at the talks.

The awards are handed out by the Climate Action Network, a global consortium of non-governmental organizations. At the ceremony, presenter Ben Wikler of said, "Canada's performance here in Copenhagen builds on two years of delay, obstruction and total inaction. This government thinks there's a choice between environment and economy, and for them, tar sands beats climate every time. Canada's emissions are headed nowhere but up."

Canada's greenhouse gas emission reduction targets are the equivalent to three per cent below 1990 levels by the year 2020. Earlier this week Environment Minister Jim Prentice cast doubt on his government's ability to achieve even that when he confirmed there would be concessions for the oil and gas sector.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to deliver Canada's national statement to the plenary of world leaders in Copenhagen today. Prentice spoke instead, reiterating Canada's commitment to "sustainable," "low-carbon" economic growth.

"It continues the language of synchronising Canada's efforts with the US, and maintaining a one-track approach (implying a new agreement rather than the Kyoto Protocol)," wrote Rosa Kouri, a blogger following the Canadian delegation in Copenhagen. "Far as I can tell, there are no concrete targets identified, no new financing commitments, or reference to emerging science."

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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