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Climate talks in Warsaw a waste of energy, say activists

Greenpeace27 November 2013, Warsaw – The United Nations, UN, climate talks in Warsaw, Poland, have ended with activists disappointed that the quest for climate justice had become even more elusive.

The COP19 – the 19th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – ended on November 23 with delegates reaching a compromise on how to fight global warming.

“The climate conference in Warsaw was a waste of energy,” said Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace Germany.

“It was already clear by midweek that small steps forward would be sold as successes but would not help us to negotiate a global climate protection agreement by 2015,” he added.

Ahead of a new global climate treaty in Paris in 2015, an agreement was reached by delegates, at the two week-long conference, after a series of last minute compromises.

But environmental groups were angered by the lack of specific commitments on finance.

“There is no sense from the outcomes of Warsaw that climate justice is any closer than before the COP was inaugurated,” Simon Anderson, Head of climate change group at the International Institute for Environment and Development, IIED, said.

“The delays in countries disclosing how they will address reducing greenhouse gas emissions continue. It would seem that we are moving almost inevitably to a 4C degree warmer world,” he added.

Just like a previous Conference of Parties – COP15 in 2009 – in Copenhagen dashed much of the hopes hung on it; environmental activists left Warsaw with a bitter after taste in their mouths.

Having been billed as a climate finance COP, Warsaw failed to deliver, according to them.

“The need for both finance and disbursal mechanisms that genuinely reflect and respond to the needs of countries and people that need to adapt and become more climate resilient become even more important,” said Dr. Anderson.

“In the absence of agreement on a mid-term target and a clear pathway, poor and vulnerable countries are unable to understand how the developed countries are going to deliver the promised target of US$100 billion annually by 2020. Looking at decisions related to long term finance, developing countries can see a few gains, but there were reassuring words and little else,” he added.

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