#COP19: polluters talk, we walk


21st November, 2013 has been a milestone in the history of climate negotiations in past 19 years. For the first time in record of Conference of Parties on climate change, large number of representatives from civil society organizations all over the world walked out of climate negotiations and have voluntarily withdrawn out of COP 19, Warsaw. A massive walk out of around 800 delegates from various non government organizations showed frustration of these delegates towards weak and inadequate productive actions in climate talks in Warsaw. The message was clear-polluter’s talk, we walk.

This initiative was taken by different organizations such as WWF International, ActionAid International, Friends of the Earth (Europe), Oxfam International, Green Peace, Climate Action Network for Climate Change (CANSA), Development Alternatives and several others. There was a clear frustration and disappointment in the civil society organizations against developed nations who are blocking climate change negotiations here in Warsaw.

Dissatisfaction has gradually built in the minds of several NGO delegates over past ten days, and was clearly evident today when dozens of organizations walked out showing their disagreement with the way these negotiations are moving. There has been little progress in these negotiations and these climate talks have delivered almost nothing when compared to the enormous challenge of climate change. Weak emissions reductions ambitions, backtracking emission cut emissions previously made by countries, inadequate finance for combating climate change, opposition on setting up a mechanism on loss and damage and putting the interests of dirty energy industries by organization of Coal and Climate Summit in conjunction are some of the issues which have now forced civil society organizations to walk out of negotiations and send across a strong message-enough is enough.

Negotiators from developed countries with lacking political will are sitting here and talking for the past ten days and still have nothing to offer. Developed countries have already failed to meet their mitigation targets and their new emission reduction ambitions are also inadequate. On issues such as emission reduction targets position of the countries such as Japan and Canada have infact moved backwards. EU has also refused to raise emission reduction ambitions. US, Canada and Australia have maintained a strong position for blocking any discussion of a new “loss and damage” mechanism that would provide financial support and compensation to countries facing severe climate impacts. And when compared to the monetary support required to combat climate change, there is insufficient climate finance on the table.

Negotiations on all these issues have failed to meet the expectations of civil society organizations from all over the world that are fighting for Climate Justice. Standing in solidarity with thousands of people who have been affected by the Super Typhoon in Philippines, civil society organizations will make better use of their time and will push the governments to take serious action on climate change. Its time, we pressurize the governments for concrete measures that keep the interests of climate change vulnerable communities in mind.

It’s time that industrialized countries and emitters do not get away so easily with climate negotiations which can risk the fate of our future generations.

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