By Malee Oot November 25, 2013
The Warsaw Climate Conference (COP 19), which began on November 11, ended Saturday in a series of vague compromises resolving some of the most contentious issues to emerge at the talks, namely the development of a pathway to a global climate treaty in 2015 and the generation of a loss-and-damage mechanism for developing countries. In the end, 190 countries agreed to make “contributions” to the creation of a globally binding climate agreement at the United Nations climate talks next year in Paris.
The Warsaw conference was troubled from the outset when representatives at the talks were upset by the dismissal of Polish environment minister and host of the Warsaw talks Marcin Korolec in a cabinet rearrangement that was part of a larger plan on the part of the Polish government to spur shale gas operations in the country. And last week, just three days before the climate talks ended, the lack of progress on binding emissions reduction targets led to a massive walkout by environmental non-governmental organizations, student groups, trade unions, social movements, and other activist groups representing indigenous peoples, farmers and women. Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, 350.org, Oxfam International, Friends of the Earth, and Action Aid were among the groups to leave the climate talks.