Today Thursday 21 November, one day before the planned conclusion of the Warsaw UN climate conference, hundreds of climate activists – including Push Europe – are walking out of the talks in protest.
The social movements and non-governmental organizations that left the conference in protest include PACJA, ITUC, 350.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth International and Oxfam, and many others representing millions of people who demand real climate action.
''The lack of urgency in Warsaw was so great that we had no other option than to walk out of of this conference in protest. Europe, and other developed nations are still a world away from acting to prevent climate catastrophe,” said Tom Beardmore, Push Europe Coordinator.
Industrialised countries’ governments are abandoning their responsibility to prevent climate catastrophe. We have witnessed at these talks outrageous inaction by developed country governments – and in particular the dirty/fossil five : Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan and the US. Meanwhile, the Polish host government has actively helped corporate polluters to influence the talks.
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. 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.
Developed nations governments have been hijacked by corporate polluters and their positions at this conference 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.
At the Warsaw climate talks industrialised countries continued to further diminish their responsibilities to tackle climate change and to dismantle the framework for equitable binding reductions of greenhouse gases, without which we have no chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. The positions of these governments at global climate talks are increasingly driven by the narrow economic and financial interests of multinational corporations. These interests, tied to the economic sectors responsible for pollution or profiting from false solutions to the climate crisis like carbon trading and fossil fuels, are the key forces behind global inaction.
People and communities around the world who are already implementing climate-safe local energy systems are the real climate leaders. Together, we must now apply political pressure so that our governments follow these leaders instead of the corporate polluters.
Push Europe believes that we can build a climate-safe, just and sustainable energy system. To get there we need to challenge corporate power and exert real democratic control over the energy decisions of our governments.