Everybody Seems to Be Leaving the UN Climate Talks in Warsaw

by Greg Pollowitz

Some headlines this morning:

Green groups stage walk-out at UN climate talks

Environment and development groups are protesting at slow speed and lack of ambition of Warsaw negotiations

Environment and development groups together with young people, trade unions and social movements have walked out of the UN climate talks on Thursday in protest at what they say is the slow speed and lack of ambition of the negotiations in Warsaw.

Wearing T-shirts reading “Volverermos” ["We will return"] around 800 people from organisations including Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, 350.org, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union conferation and ActionAid, handed back their registration badges to the UN and left Poland’s National Stadium where the talks are being held.

“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. This will be the first time ever that there has been a mass withdrawal from a COP,” said a WWF spokesman.

“Warsaw, which should have been an important step in the just transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing. We feel that governments have given up on the process,” he said.

And. . .

Poor countries walk out of UN climate talks as compensation row rumbles on

Bloc of 132 countries exit Warsaw conference after rich nations refuse to discuss climate change recompense until after 2015

Representatives of most of the world’s poor countries have walked out of increasingly fractious climate negotiations after the EU, Australia, the US and other developed countries insisted that the question of who should pay compensation for extreme climate events be discussed only after 2015.

The orchestrated move by the G77 and China bloc of 132 countries came during talks about “loss and damage” – how countries should respond to climate impacts that are difficult or impossible to adapt to, such as typhoon Haiyan.

Saleemul Huq, the scientist whose work on loss and damage helped put the issue of recompense on the conference agenda, said: “Discussions were going well in a spirit of co-operation, but at the end of the session on loss and damage Australia put everything agreed into brackets, so the whole debate went to waste.”

Australia was accused of not taking the negotiations seriously. “They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation. That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in,” said a spokeswoman for Climate Action Network.

I am eagerly searching for video of the T-shirted Australians gorging on snacks and will update this post if I find it.

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