WARSAW (November 21, 2013) – Today, in the second to last day of the U.N. climate meeting in Warsaw, Poland, members of a number of non-governmental organizations walked out of the negotiations in a peaceful mass demonstration to convey their anger and frustration with the process.
Below is a statement from Alden Meyer, director of strategy & policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists:
"To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we need to see much greater action by the nations of the world to reduce carbon pollution. There is deep and widespread frustration here in Warsaw about the clear lack of political will needed to address the climate crisis.
"Some members of civil society have today chosen to voluntarily withdraw from this meeting in protest against the lack of sufficient action. While my colleagues and I at UCS respect their decision and share their frustration, we have chosen to stay inside the building to continue to fight for as much progress as can be made over the last hours of these negotiations in Warsaw.
"There is still much to play for, including creating a new mechanism on loss and damage, laying out a roadmap towards negotiation of the 2015 climate action deal, and defining a clear process and deadline for developed countries to indicate how they will ramp up climate finance towards the $100 billion a year by 2020 they pledged four years ago in Copenhagen. As long as negotiators are at the table, we will be there as well. In particular, we will be pressing the US delegation to contribute to resolving disagreements on these and other issues.
"Let us be clear: this is the only international process we have for addressing climate change where all countries have a voice. If we are to address climate change as an international community, the way forward will be hammered out at these climate talks over the next two years. No one should misinterpret today's walk-out as an indication that this process is 'broken.' It's not. It's just waiting for the world's governments to summon the courage to stand up to the fossil fuel polluters and take the actions needed to protect their citizens."