More than 800 activists from NGOs such as Greenpeace and Oxfam as well as trade unions and social movements have staged a mass walkout of the UN climate talks in Warsaw in protest of the lack of action at the conference.
The protesters, who included representatives of Friends of the Earth and WWF, marched out of Poland’s national stadium, the conference venue.
“Warsaw, which should have been an important step in the transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing. We feel governments have given up on the process,” said a WWF spokesman. Frustrations in the annual conference are nothing new, but participants say progress at this year’s summit has been particularly slow, as developed and developing countries clash over money.
Last week Japan, one of the world’s biggest emitters of carbon dioxide, announced it would replace its target to cut emissions by 25 per cent between 1990 and 2020 by one that will effectively increase them by about 3 per cent over the period. It blamed the switch from nuclear to other, dirtier, forms of power in the aftermath of the Fukushima.
Australia, a big consumer of coal, signalled a possible weakening of its emissions target range and began the repeal of its carbon tax. The Canadian premier Stephen Harper called for other countries to follow suit.