Warsaw, Poland – WWF issued the following statement today from Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative, as the UN climate talks drew to a conclusion:
“The climate change threat has given us a clear choice – a future where destructive weather events like Typhoon Haiyan become the norm, or a world powered by clean renewable energy.
“Negotiators in Warsaw were clearly unprepared or unable to take us towards a better future.
“They showed up unprepared to negotiate in good faith, particularly on issues affecting the most vulnerable people. The Japanese government backtracked on its previous commitments to cut emissions, and the new government in Australia is moving to water-down domestic climate legislation and being cheered on by the Canadian government.
“The issue of carbon emissions from forest loss will be critical for the negotiations in Lima next year and negotiators have a strong basis to build from the positive agreements and framework reached on this issue here. Most importantly, those talks will have to deal with the issue of financing to fight forest loss.
“The lack of urgency shown by governments in this process has been sickening. And that’s why we walked out of these climate talks in Warsaw earlier this week.
“Negotiators in Warsaw should have used this meeting to take a big and critical step towards global, just action on climate change. That didn’t happen. This has placed the negotiations towards a global agreement in 2015 at risk.
“A repeat performance next year would be disastrous, not just for the progress of these negotiations, but more importantly for vulnerable communities everywhere and the natural world on which we all depend.
“The most polluting industries cast a long shadow over these talks, and governments put their own interests ahead of global citizens. That needs to change – there’s no way we can get a strong climate change deal in 2015 until governments reflect the concerns of the people, and not the interests of the fossil fuel industry.
“Allowing fossil fuel interests so much influence over the talks is deeply unacceptable. That dynamic needs to change if governments want their citizens to trust that they are doing as much as possible in these talks to address climate change.
“By the time we get to next year’s meeting in Lima, we urgently need to have political will, real commitments, and a clear path to a comprehensive and fair agreement in Paris 2015, where a new global agreement on climate change has to be signed. Heads of state will need to come to the UN Leaders’ Summit called by the Secretary General next September with new commitments that match the scientific evidence of climate change. Heads of state also will need to engage directly in the negotiation process going forward, especially in Lima and Peru, if that’s what it takes.”
Tasneem Essop, WWF’s head of delegation at COP19 said:
“In Warsaw, WWF joined a broad front of civil society organizations, social movements and trade unions to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We are committed to mobilizing our members and supporters to put pressure on governments to take more concrete actions on climate change. And we look forward to building a direct link between the outcomes of the 'Social COP' in Venezuela and the Peruvian and French COP.”
As COP19 comes to a close, we are joining our civil society colleagues in making the following requests to the incoming COP Presidents, Peru and France:
• Concrete steps to address pre 2020 ambition and an equitable agreement for 2015.
• An end to all dirty corporate sponsorship of UNFCCC climate talks.
• A guarantee of the right to freedom of expression and active participation by civil society organizations in the climate talks.