Climate talks in trouble as green groups walk out
SHOTLIST : WARSAW, POLAND, 21 NOVEMBER 2013, SOURCE: AFPTV SOUNDBITE 1 Asad Rehman (man) Senior Campaigner, Friends of the Earth (English, 23 sec): "Today over 800 people joined Friends of the Earth and many other environmental and development organisations and walked out of this COP with a simple message: That in these negotiations, the voice of polluters has been heard whilst the voice of citizens, and the people, and the planet are not being heard. And until that changes, we are not going back in. And we are leaving this COP to redouble our efforts to build a more powerful movement of people to hold our governments accountable." SOUNDBITE 2 Nick Beall (man) Environmentalist (English, 15 sec): "We are leaving. We've left and we're not coming back this year. We'll return next year stronger and better. This COP has been taken over by corporates. There were no decisions being made. The G77 were disappointed with the outcome. There was no progress on any issues." VAR images showing: -green groups inside the football stadium where the UN climate talks are taking place -green groups outside the football stadium where the UN climate talks are taking place /// ----------------------------------------------------------- AFP TEXT STORY: UN-climate-warming,lead Climate talks in trouble as green groups walk out WARSAW, Nov 21, 2013 (AFP) - Exasperated green groups walked out of faltering UN climate talks in Warsaw on Thursday as rich and poor nations bickered about who must do what to curb planet warming. The negotiations entered their penultimate day in a stalemate over how to curb dangerous greenhouse-gas emissions and channel aid to poor, climate-vulnerable states. In a dramatic flourish, six environment and development groups walked out, saying the annual round of talks had delivered little more than hot air and no action since opening on November 11. "The Warsaw climate conference, which should have been an important step in the just transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing," said a statement announcing the groups' decision to "voluntarily withdraw". The signatories are Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, ActionAid, the International Trade Union Confederation and Friends of the Earth. "People around the globe have a right to know about the desperate state of these negotiations," said an Oxfam statement. "The stakes are too high to allow governments to make a mockery of these talks." The groups pointed the finger at Poland for its "endorsement" of a global coal summit held in the same city and at the same time as the talks, Japan for slashing its carbon emissions goal, and Australia's decision to scrap a carbon tax on high emitters. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) attend the talks as observers and advisors. Their presence endorses the role of civil society in these important, but hugely complex negotiations. But decision-making is reserved for UN member states. "Talks like these amount to nothing if countries refuse to... negotiate in good faith or worse, try to drag the process backwards," said the WWF's Samantha Smith. On Wednesday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon had urged nations to "much bolder" action to stave off an existential peril for the Earth. Gathering more than 190 nations, the talks are meant to pave the way to a pact by the end of 2015 to limit warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels. At its heart would be national pledges to tame carbon gases emitted by burning coal, oil and gas, which provide the backbone of the world's energy supply today. On current emissions trends, scientists warn the Earth could face warming of 4.0 C or higher -- a recipe for catastrophic storms, droughts, floods and land-gobbling sea-level rise. Still no roadmap for 2015 ------------------------- Delegates said there have been few advances in crafting a roadmap for arriving at the historic climate deal in Paris, now only two years away. "There are still things that are very important to us where we do not see enough progress, for instance a clear timeline, and key elements of the 2015 agreement," European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard said after late-night talks. "If we are not moving backward, at least we are not moving forward in our discussions." Developing countries want wealthy nations to shoulder a bigger share of emissions cuts to make up for a long history of fossil-fuel combustion. The West, though, insists that emerging economies must do their fair share. Tomorrow's warming problem will mainly come from today's developing giants, which are voraciously burning indigenous reserves of coal, they argue. China is now the world's biggest emitter of CO2, with India in fourth place after the United States and Europe. Another quarrel is over money. Developing nations are challenging wealthy countries to honour a 2009 pledge to muster up to $100 billion (74 billion euros) by 2020, up from $10 billion a year from 2010 to 2012. Still struggling with an economic crisis, however, the developed world is wary of unveiling a detailed plan at this stage, or pledging any new short-term figures. The money crunch also lies at the heart of another issue bedevilling the talks: demands by developing countries for a mechanism to help them deal with future losses from climate impacts they say are too late to avoid. Rich nations fear this amounts to signing a blank cheque for never-ending liability.
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