Citing disappointment over the lack of substantive action in the COP 19 climate talks, around 800 individuals coming from civil society groups and grassroots organizations staged a massive walkout in Warsaw, Poland today.
IBON International together with a number of climate justice groups and social movements assembled outside the National Stadium this afternoon to demand for climate justice.
With only a few days before the summit ends, global civil society groups have been exerting immense pressure on developed countries to take bold action and produce significant outcomes. Earlier this week, G77+China also staged a walkout from the loss and damage talks after developed countries pulled off another attempt to stall negotiations.
Dubbed as the ‘finance COP,’ this year’s summit has been repeatedly besieged with criticisms over corporate sponsorship, the general direction of the climate negotiations, and the lack of ambition from developed countries to continue climate mitigation commitments.
Organizers of the protest action also released a statement as follows:
Enough is enough.
We have said we stand in solidarity with the millions impacted by Typhoon Haiyan, and with all climate impacted people. Our solidarity compels us to tell the truth about COP 19 – the Warsaw Climate Conference.
The Warsaw Climate Conference, which should have been an important step in the just transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing. In fact, the actions of many rich countries here in Warsaw are directly undermining the UNFCCC itself, which is an important multilateral process that must succeed if we are to fix the global climate crisis.
The Warsaw Conference has put the interests of dirty energy industries over that of global citizens - with a “Coal & Climate Summit” being held in conjunction; corporate sponsorship from big polluters plastered all over the venue; and a Presidency (Poland) that is beholden to the coal and fracking industry. When Japan announced that it was following Canada and backtracking on emission cut commitments previously made, and Australia gave multiple signals that it was utterly unwilling to take the UN climate process seriously, the integrity of the talks was further jeopardized.
This week saw a “finance ministerial” with almost no actual finance, and loss and damage talks that have stalled because rich countries refuse to engage on the substance of an international mechanism. Warsaw has not seen any increase in emission reductions nor increased support for adaptation before 2020 – on these things it has actually taken us backward. And a clear pathway to a comprehensive and fair agreement in Paris 2015 is missing.
We as civil society are ready to engage with ministers and delegations who actually come to negotiate in good faith. But at the Warsaw Conference, rich country governments have come with nothing to offer. Many developing country governments are also struggling and failing to stand up for the needs and rights of their people. It is clear that if countries continue acting in this way, the next two days of negotiations will not deliver the climate action the world so desperately needs.
Therefore, organizations and movements representing people from every corner of the Earth have decided that the best use of our time is to voluntarily withdraw from the Warsaw climate talks. Instead, we are now focusing on mobilizing people to push our governments to take leadership for serious climate action. We will work to transform our food and energy systems at a national and global level and rebuild a broken economic system to create a sustainable and low-carbon economy with decent jobs and livelihoods for all. And we will put pressure on everyone to do more to realize this vision.
Coming out of the Warsaw Climate Conference, it is clear that without such pressure, our governments cannot be trusted to do what the world needs. We will return with the voice of the people in Lima to hold our governments accountable to the vision of a sustainable and just future.
ORGANISATIONS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS STATEMENT:
Aksyon Klima Pilipinas
Bolivian Platform on Climate Change
Construyendo Puentes (Latin America)
Friends of the Earth (Europe)
International Trade Union Confederation
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
Peoples’ Movement on Climate Change (Philippines)