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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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