Negotiations at the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw, Poland, have entered their final scheduled day, but deep divisions remain between rich and poor nations. Negotiators from nearly 200 countries have been meeting for the past two weeks trying to lay the foundation for a new global climate treaty to be agreed at talks scheduled in Paris in two years. On Thursday, more than 800 members of various environmental groups staged an unprecedented walk out of the talks. Questioned by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman hours later, the U.S. special envoy for climate change and lead climate negotiator Todd Stern rejected calls for reparations to poor countries damaged by the carbon emissions of the world’s biggest polluters. We discuss the state of the talks with two guests: Martin Khor, executive director of the South Centre; and Nitin Sethi, senior assistant editor at The Hindu. Sethi was responsible for leaking U.S. briefing papers on the climate negotiations before the summit began revealing how U.S. negotiators at the climate talks are opposing efforts to help developing countries adapt to climate change. According to the internal memo, the U.S. delegation is worried the talks in Warsaw will "focus increasingly on blame and liability" and that poor nations will be "seeking redress for climate damages from sea level rise, droughts, powerful storms and other adverse impacts."
Just before we went to air today, Somali youth climate activist Marian Osman addressed the main plenary at the U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. "There’s a Somali proverb that goes: a mere finger can’t obscure the sun," Osman said. "You cannot hide the truth by deception; as any one of the thousands whom are in need in Somalia and the Philippines this week could tell you, no amount of political stalling can hide the fact that a climate crisis is here." Earlier this month, a deadly cyclone slammed the Puntland region of Somalia, wreaking havoc on an already vulnerable population.
One of the core solutions to reducing climate change proposed in the Kyoto Protocol has resurfaced at the latest U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland — the creation of a carbon market. However, climate activists here say it is a “false solution” pushed by bankers and bureaucrats. We speak with South African activist and professor Patrick Bond, who says negotiators should instead emphasize cutting emissions and paying climate debt.
Activists from around the world have been meeting in a convergence center in downtown Warsaw, holding their own meetings to strategize about how to address climate change. Many of them also attended the U.N. climate summit, but walked out in frustration for the first time in 19 years on Thursday. Democracy Now!’s Amy Littlefield and Hany Massoud visited the activist center to file this report. “This has been a beautiful, valuable space,” says Kenyan activist Ruth Nyambura. “If nothing comes out of this COP, what the youth constituency of the UNFCCC has done has really, really changed the game.”
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