Warsaw: India backs Green groups' walkout from climate talks

Warsaw: Hours after major NGOs walked out of the UN Climate Change conference, India on Thursday said it fully shared the sentiments of the civil society and asked the developed nations to act in combating climate change.

 Warsaw: India backs Green groups walkout from climate talks

Associated Press

"It is a matter of deep concern to my country that there has been absolutely no progress in any of the issues of interest to developing countries in this Conference of Parties, Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said.

"Discussions on crucial issues of direct importance to developing countries like Finance, Technology and Loss and Damage have remained deadlocked due to lack of will by developed country Parties," she said in a statement here.

The NGOs staged the walk out at the conference of the representative ministers of the 195 countries at the UN Climate Change Conference here in the Polish capital in the backdrop of some developed countries actually reneging on their commitments or decreasing them.

"I fully share the sentiments of the NGOs and call on developed countries to show their determination to implement commitments and increase their ambition to address the mitigation gap and provide enhanced means of implementation and ensure that the negotiations reach a meaningful conclusion in the Conference of Parties," Natarajan said.

Ambition in the climate change context is the voluntary submission of emission cut targets committed by countries.

NGOs from across the world, including India, staged a walk out from the UN Climate Change conference, accusing the developed world of "wasting precious time to save the world".

Sanjay Vashist of the green NGO Climate Action Network South Asia said his group with global civil society movements walked out from Warsaw COP out of frustration from the empty talks to address climate challenges in developing countries where people are dying due to cyclones like Phalin and Hayain and flash floods like in Uttarakhand.

He also accused the developed countries like Australia and Japan and other developed countries of "wasting precious time" to save the World.

Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said: "The Polish government has done its best to turn these talks into a showcase for the coal industry."

"Along with backsliding by Japan, Australia and Canada, and the lack of meaningful leadership from other countries, governments here have delivered a slap in the face to those suffering as a result of dangerous climate change," Naidoo said.

"The EU is being shackled by the Polish government and its friends in the coal industry, and must resume leading on the climate agenda if Paris is going to deliver a treaty that matters," the Greenpeace said.

It said that it is China, if anyone, can be a game-changer, but it's not yet capitalising on its potential.

"It has yet to translate its domestic gains on cutting coal use and other climate action into constructive engagement in these talks. 2014 is a critical year, it must be a year of action and ambition on the road to Paris," the Greenpeace said.

"Each and every country must table new pollution reduction targets, as well as meeting the promises they have already made," it said.

The NGO, however, said they believe in the UN process on Climate Change and will never give up on it because people around the world desperately need a global treaty on global warming.

"But a new treaty must also be meaningful. Warsaw has simply not been good enough. As civil society, we will be back next year with still more voices behind us, with more determination and with more ambition to succeed. We expect governments to do the same," the Greenpeace said.

Harjeet Singh, International Coordinator for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Adaptation, attacked the US, EU, Australia and Norway for remaining "blind to the climate reality that's hitting all but poor people and countries much harder."

"They continue to derail negotiations in Warsaw that can create a new system to deal with new types of loss and damage such as sea level rise, loss of territory, biodiversity and no economic losses more systematically," he said.

Civil society and academics have been closely working on the issue of Loss and Damage, and following the developments in the UNFCCC negations, so as to avoid any hindrance to the development of a pro-poor and pro-vulnerable outcome in the process.

However, there seems much that remains to be achieved to reach the expected objectives.

"The developing countries are united in their demand for an international mechanism on loss and damage to be agreed in Warsaw. The developed countries are blocking that demand and propose to relegate discussions of loss and damage under adaptation only," Saleemul Huq of ICCAD said.

PTI

Updated Date: Nov 21, 2013 22:09:54 IST