‘The Polish government has done its best to turn these talks into a showcase for the coal industry’
Warsaw walkout: Big green groups bail on U.N. climate talks
21 November, 2013
By Ben Jervey
21 November 2013
21 November 2013
WARSAW, Poland (Grist) – For the first time ever, environmental groups have staged a mass walkout of a U.N. climate summit. Citing immense frustration with the lack of productive action in the COP19 climate talks, which have been dogged by a persistent rift between rich and poor countries on the responsibility of paying for climate damages, hundreds of people from dozens of environmental groups and movements from all corners of the Earth have voluntarily withdrawn from the talks. According to a spokesperson for Oxfam, around 800 civil society members (which is the label applied to all advocate and activist types at these meetings) have walked out. In a joint statement, group leaders offered that “the best use of their time” was to now focus “on mobilizing people to push our governments to take leadership for serious climate action.”
Participants in the walkout — which included members and organizers fromOxfam, Greenpeace International, 350.org, WWF International, the International Trade Union Confederation, ActionAid International, Friends of the Earth Europe, and dozens of other groups large and small from around the world — assembled just after lunchtime outside the main food court in the National Stadium that is hosting the meetings. After statements from the heads of a handful of international orgs, including Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, members of civil society headed for the exits.
“The real hooligans are the CEOs of fossil fuel companies,” Naidoo told the crowd.
In the joint statement, the groups said, “enough is enough,” but insisted that they were not walking away from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process entirely, promising to return for COP20 in Lima, Peru, in 2014. [more]
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