Citing a lack of any meaningful progress being made toward fighting climate change, Greenpeace, the WWF and several other major environmental groups staged a mass walkout of the U.N. climate talks Thursday.
"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," a WWF spokesperson told the Guardian.
The goal of the talks, which end their two-week run tomorrow, had been to reach an international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They were building up to a treaty that would be signed in 2015 and go into effect after 2020. Frustrations, though, have been mounting as nations, most notably Australia, Canada and Japan, refuse to cooperate. Poland, which is hosting the talks, scheduled a coal industry summit to occur at the same time and then fired its environment minister, the event's chair. Today's protests come a day after a bloc of 132 poor nations walked out of negotiations over compensation for extreme climate events after rich nations refused to entertain the debate.
Oxfam International, ActionAid International, Friends of the Earth Europe and the International Trade Union Confederation joined the walkout as well. The groups clarified that they were leaving the scene of this particular disaster, but would return for the 2014 talks in Lima, Peru.