NGOs, Social Movements Walk Out Of Warsaw Talks

Posted on November, 21 2013

Enough is enough.

Enough is enough.

We have said we stand in solidarity with the millions impacted by Typhoon Haiyan, and with all climate impacted people. Our solidarity compels us to tell the truth about COP 19 – the Warsaw Climate Conference.

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. In fact, the actions of many rich countries here in Warsaw are directly undermining the UNFCCC itself, which is an important multilateral process that must succeed if we are to fix the global climate crisis.

The Warsaw Conference has put the interests of dirty energy industries over that of global citizens - with a “Coal & Climate Summit” being held in conjunction; corporate sponsorship from big polluters plastered all over the venue; and a Presidency (Poland) that is beholden to the coal and fracking industry. When Japan announced that it was following Canada and backtracking on emission cut commitments previously made, and Australia gave multiple signals that it was utterly unwilling to take the UN climate process seriously, the integrity of the talks was further jeopardized.

This week saw a “finance ministerial” with almost no actual finance, and loss and damage talks that have stalled because rich countries refuse to engage on the substance of an international mechanism. Warsaw has not seen any increase in emission reductions nor increased support for adaptation before 2020 – on these things it has actually taken us backward. And a clear pathway to a comprehensive and fair agreement in Paris 2015 is missing.

We as civil society are ready to engage with ministers and delegations who actually come to negotiate in good faith. But at the Warsaw Conference, rich country governments have come with nothing to offer. Many developing country governments are also struggling and failing to stand up for the needs and rights of their people. It is clear that if countries continue acting in this way, the next two days of negotiations will not deliver the climate action the world so desperately needs.

Therefore, organizations and movements representing people from every corner of the Earth have decided that the best use of our time is to voluntarily withdraw from the Warsaw climate talks. Instead, we are now focusing on mobilizing people to push our governments to take leadership for serious climate action. We will work to transform our food and energy systems at a national and global level and rebuild a broken economic system to create a sustainable and low-carbon economy with decent jobs and livelihoods for all. And we will put pressure on everyone to do more to realize this vision.

Coming out of the Warsaw Climate Conference, it is clear that without such pressure, our governments cannot be trusted to do what the world needs. We will return with the voice of the people in Lima to hold our governments accountable to the vision of a sustainable and just future.
Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF's Global Climate and Energy Initiative said, "We have been forced to take this action because of the failure of governments to take these talks seriously. We are not walking away from the UN process on climate change, just this conference in Warsaw, where the interests of the most polluting industries have been set above the needs of global citizens. "Talks like these amount to nothing if countries refuse to come to them and negotiate in good faith or worse, try to drag the process backwards. There comes a point where the only option is to say enough is enough and to leave. With the science clearer than ever on the risk posed by dangerous climate change, heads of state need to step in and show leadership and drive this process forward.”


- Aksyon Klima Pilipinas
- ActionAid
- Bolivian Platform on Climate Change
- Construyendo Puentes (Latin America)
- Friends of the Earth (Europe)
- Greenpeace
- Ibon International
- International Trade Union Confederation
- LDC Watch
- Oxfam International
- Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
- Peoples’ Movement on Climate Change (Philippines)


Aksyon Klima Pilipinas
Denise M. Fontanilla, email:

Brandon Wu, email:
mobile: +1 202-730-5974

Bolivian Platform on Climate Change
Martin Vilela, email:

Construyendo Puentes (Latin America)
Martin Vilela, email:

Friends of the Earth (Europe)
Asad Rehman, email:
mobile: +48 733 412 897 (Warsaw)

Samuel Fleet,
mobile: +48 537 884 902 (Warsaw)

Martin Kaiser, email:
mobile: +49 171 878 0817

Ibon International
Tetet Lauron

International Trade Union Confederation
Anabella Rosemberg, e-mail:
mobile: +33 677 699 429

LDC Watch
Azeb Girmai, email:

Oxfam International
Anna Ratcliff, email:
mobile: +44 (0) 779 699 3288

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
Mithika Mwenda, email:

Peoples’ Movement on Climate Change (Philippines)

Samantha Smith, email:
mobile; +47 450 22 149

Mandy Woods, email:
mobile: +48 515 289 239 (Warsaw)

George Smeeton, email:
mobile: +44 (0)7917 052 948

Ian Morrison, email:
mobile: +1 202 372 6373 

WWF and other members of civil society walk out of UN COP 19 climate negotiations in Warsaw, Poland.
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© Nitin Sethi