Climate Activists Pressuring Negotiators at UN Climate Talks
Yesterday during the opening plenary of the UN Climate Negotiations in Warsaw, Yeb Saño, lead negotiator for the Philippines, gave a moving speech urging negotiators to move past talk and commit to deep emission cuts and financing for mitigation and adaptation efforts.
He also praised climate activists:
These last two days, there are moments when I feel that I should rally behind the climate advocates who peacefully confront those historically responsible for the current state of our climate. These selfless people who fight coal, expose themselves to freezing temperatures, or block oil pipelines. In fact, we are seeing increasing frustration and, thus, more increased civil disobedience. The next two weeks, these people, and many around the world who serve as our conscience will again remind us of our enormous responsibility.
Boy, is he right – Super Typhoon Haiyan reminded all of us that climate change is here and now and that the consequences are dire – over 10,000 people are believed to be dead and the lives of over 9 million people have been adversely affected.
In response, climate activists immediately began carrying out actions to pressure the world governments to take climate change seriously and show their solidarity with the people of the Philippines. Here are just a few of the actions that happened in the past twenty four hours:
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice brought together close to 1000 people to rally in front of the US Embassy in Manila demanding that US and other major polluters drastically reduce emisisons and pay reparations to people that have suffered from climate impacts.
Young People unfurled banners of solidarity for the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan as Saño walked out of the opening plenary of the Climate Talks. Three of them were kicked out of the conference by security for causing "trouble"! Funny how governments are not punished for their inaction on climate change, while the fossil fuel industry actually gets rewarded for destroying the planet in the form of subsidies.
There was rally in the cafeteria of the conference centre in Warsaw today during lunch time to express solidarity with the demands of Philippines’ delegation and in particular, Saño, who has vowed to fast until a meaningful outcome of the meeting is in sight.
Without a doubt, activists in Warsaw and all across the globe will continue to pressure negotiators and the fossil fuel industry. You can as well, by signing our petition demanding climate justice in Warsaw.