The organisations decried position of certain countries on climate talks
Hundreds of representatives of social movements, trade unions, and non-governmental organisations, on Thursday in Poland, walked out of the United Nations, UN, climate conference in protest.
The walk out came a day before the planned conclusion of the climate talks in Warsaw.
“Polluters and corporations dominated this conference with their empty talk, so we walked out in protest. Polluters talk, we walk,” said Jagoda Munic, Chairperson of Friends of the Earth International. “While people around the world are paying with their lives and livelihoods, and the risk of runaway climate change draws closer, we simply could not sit by this egregious inaction. Corporate profits should not come before peoples’ lives.”
Ms. Munic noted that people and communities around the world, who were already implementing climate-safe, local energy systems, were the real climate leaders.
“Together, we must now apply political pressure so that our governments follow these leaders instead of the corporate polluters,” she added.”
The organisations which walked out on Thursday include the International Trade Union Confederation, PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance, Bolivian Platform on Climate Change, Jubilee South (APMDD), 350.org, Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, ActionAid and many others.
Friends of the Earth International said that it witnessed outrageous inaction, at the ongoing talks, by developed country governments – and in particular the ‘Dirty Four’: Australia, Canada, Japan and the US.
The Polish host government actively helped corporate polluters such as coal companies to influence the talks, the protesting groups noted.
They further noted that the European Union also disappointed, with only minimal ambition and insufficient climate finance proposals.
“In Warsaw, industrialised countries’ governments did nothing to cut emissions or provide real finance to tackle climate change. In addition, they continued to avoid their responsibility to prevent climate catastrophe,” the organisation said.
Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International Climate Justice and Energy Coordinator, accused developed nations of being hijacked by corporate polluters and that their positions prevented even a minimal progress of the talks.
“Developed country governments actions in Warsaw demonstrate that they are listening to polluters such as Shell and ArcelorMittal instead of their own people,” said Ms. Bhatnagar.
“We are calling on developed countries to go back home and listen to their own people. People all over the world demand urgent steps to agree an ambitious, binding and equitable international agreement on climate change. Now is the time to break free from our fossil fuel addiction and start a transformation towards sustainable and just societies.”
She noted that the UN was the most democratic space to address the climate crisis.
“The UN climate talks are supposed to be making progress on implementing the agreement that world governments made in 1992 to stop man-made and dangerous climate change,” Ms. Bhatnagar added.
The agreement recognises that rich countries have done the most to cause the problem of climate change and should take the lead in solving it, as well as provide funds to poorer countries as repayment of their climate debt.