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NGOs walk out of UN climate talks in protest at lack of progress

Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation and 350.org will leave at 2pm

By Ed King in Warsaw

The world’s leading environmental NGOs are walking out of UN climate talks in Warsaw, saying they are “on track to deliver virtually nothing”.

Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation and campaign group 350.org will all leave at 2pm local time.

“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,” reads a statement from WWF.

“Instead, we are now focusing on mobilizing people to push our governments to take leadership for serious climate action.”

Anger has mounted in the past ten days over lack of progress over a loss and damage mechanism, and a no further clarity on how climate finance levels will be increased.

High levels of corporate sponsorship and a coal summit held on the sidelines of the international talks have also led climate campaigners to question the Polish hosts’ commitment to an emissions reduction deal.

“Talks like these amount to nothing if countries refuse to come to them and negotiate in good faith or worse, try to drag the process backwards,” WWF’s Sam Smith said in a statement.

“There comes a point where the only option is to say enough is enough and to leave. With the science clearer than ever on the risk posed by dangerous climate change, heads of state need to step in and show leadership and drive this process forward.”

A current negotiating text relating to the proposed UN climate deal in 2015 has been described as “weak” by UN officials.

Individual groups have left talks in the past, but RTCC understands this is the first time major civil society groups have staged such a protest.

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  • J S

    I am not convinced they should have been there in the first pace. Self-appointed saviours with clear vested interests in stirring up fear and loathing do not seem to me to have a place in any serious conference.

    • Markus Schinnerl

      You def. underrate those ngos.

  • Greg Dance

    Russell Brand has started a movement against participating in corrupted rigged control systems of which this is one. Walking away is the only choice left when charlatans rule the centre ground.

  • Leonard Omullo Orondo

    NGOs have a major role to play in influencing policy debates and must be encouraged to ventilate on behalf of the people. It is not an easy task to act on behalf of the people without appointment.
    We needs serious and practical climate change negotiations to address what has now been recognized as a major global challenge. All we are saying is simple: let those with the greater responsibility take more responsibility!