Citizen Action Monitor

More activist groups abandon “do nothing” COP 19, vowing “We’ll be back!” next year

“We don’t want promises. We don’t want empathy. We want solidarity.”

No 917 Posted by fw, November 21, 2013

The COP-OUT should have happened years ago, but better late than never; here’s hoping it’s not too little too late. Democracy Now captures the voices of youthful protest at COP 19, vowing to build people power and return next year. Click on the following linked title to access the video on the website and the full transcript. Alternatively, below is an embedded 4:23-minute version of the video followed by an abridged transcript.

“Polluters Talk, We Walk”: Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming  by Democracy Now, November 21, 2013

ABRIDGED TRANSCRIPT

CYNTHIA ASAFI, of Indigenous Information Network (Kenya)  … on the promises that were made in Doha, and especially the finance, because what really brought us in Warsaw is the issue of finance: Can it be fulfilled? We don’t want promises. We don’t want empathy, where we have the impact and then people come and just empathize with us or sympathize with us. We don’t want that anymore. We want solidarity.

JAMIE HENN, of 350.org — So, the biggest development, I think, of this moment is that some of the largest NGOs in the world—WWF, Oxfam, Greenpeace—groups that traditionally have been very engaged in this process, are saying, “We actually need to change tactics. We need to begin to take on the fossil fuel industry in a really new way.” And so, the message on the shirt says, “Polluters talk, we walk.” I think that coming out of these meetings, there’s going to be a new type of commitment to really take on the fossil fuel industry—divestment campaigns, standing up to pipelines like Keystone XL. We’re beginning to figure out that to make progress on climate, we can’t just come to these conference and ask leaders for action; we really need to take on the industry itself.

ANJALI APPADURAI of Friends of the Earth Sri Lanka and Third World Network — Right now, the message is that this COP has gotten so bad that civil society is dismissing it. We’re walking out. Three hundred of us just walked out for the last two days of the COP. The message is about social movements. We’re going back. We’re building our power. We’re building up our networks and our movements, and we’re coming back much stronger in Peru, ready to re-engage in the political process. So we’re not abandoning the U.N. We’re just abandoning this COP, because it’s just gotten so bad.

[What’s so bad are] the blockers, the big blockers—Australia, Japan, U.S., Canada just blocking so much text, not agreeing to any of the commitments that they’ve already legally signed up to. And the—as you know, the G-77 walked out of a meeting. And so, we have this message, volveremos, “We will be back.” You’re not doing anything in the next two days, we already know that. It’s locked in.

None of the COPs have been good. We’ve been in negotiations for 20 years. We’re going to—we are going to bring back social movements as an essential part of this process, so that COP 20 next year in Lima can be stronger because of the social movements lighting a fire underneath it.

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