Why COP 19 fell woefully short of the urgent action we need

History was made at the UN climate talks last week – not by the achievement of a breakthrough in negotiations, unfortunately, but by the unprecedented walk-out by 800 civil society groups and trade unions.

Citing the appalling lack of ambition and commitment manifest at the 19th yearly session of the global climate change conference, NGOs blamed the lobbying from fossil fuel companies for impeding progress at the talks. As WWF put it, “Warsaw, which should have been an important step in the just transition to a sustainable future, is on track to deliver virtually nothing. We feel that governments have given up on the process.”

Their frustration was well founded. The industrialised countries like Japan and Australia used the talks to officially scale back their climate commitments, and the demands of poor countries for clarity on greater climate finance were stonewalled. At the same time, the EU’s credibility was undermined by its failure to increase its completely inadequate 20% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020. Continue reading

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