Japan, Australia, Canada hit for falling short

by Setsuko Kamiya

COPENHAGEN — Japan won the “fossil of the day” award Thursday from international nongovernmental organizations that said the country could do better despite announcing Wednesday night it will contribute ¥1.75 trillion between 2010 and 2012 to help developing countries adapt to climate change.

“Much of its short-term pledging comes from a while back, with very little clarity if there is anything additional,” said Climate Action Network, an NGO group that has been daily announcing those countries it believes performed the worst during the negotiations at the U.N. climate change conference. Japan, Canada and Australia together shared third, or “fossil,” place.

The United States, which this week was repeatedly singled out for the “fossil” dishonor, avoided the status after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Copenhagen Thursday and announced the country was ready to provide developing countries with up to $100 billion annually by 2020 to support their fight against climate change.

The NGOs are pushing for developed countries to commit to long-term financing and said Japan, Canada and Australia shared third place status and must make greater efforts. The EU was in second.

“If the U.S. can take a step forward, then Japan, Canada and Australia have no one else to hide behind,” they said in a statement.