Missing Finance Threatens Climate Talks as the Polish Government Tries to Keep the Coal Age on Life Support

18 November 2013

[Warsaw, PolandNovember 18, 2013] The UN climate negotiations in Warsaw are at risk of stalling as developed countries fail to take the concerns of poorer countries seriously, policy experts from the Climate Action Network warned today. 

As ministers prepared to arrive in Warsaw tomorrow, Ruth Davis from Greenpeace, said that over the past few years  the UNFCCC process had established a range of institutions and mechanisms to deliver climate action, such as the Green Climate Fund, the Adaptation Fund and the Technology Mechanism.

"We have built a large machine, but this machine is silent – there is currently no commitment by governments to make the machine work," Davis said.

"When ministers arrive at the Warsaw talks tomorrow, they must find a way to deliver the finance desperately needed to help developing countries move forward on the climate action they want to take." 

This dire situation within the talks came in tandem with the Polish Government's attempt to divert attention from the climate negotiations to the World Coal and Climate Summit which opened today.

But , Kuba Gogolewski, of Bankwatch, said this attempt was derailed when the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, told delegates that most existing coal reserves will have to stay in the ground. 

"A cynical attempt to extend the social license of coal has failed," he said. The Polish Government was today handed the Fossil of the Day award, given to countries who have done the most to block progress in the negotiations. 

"The Polish Government's blind support for coal is ironic given that since 2008 Poland is a net importer of coal. The country could better guarantee energy independence by transitioning to renewable energy," Gogolewski said.  A recent scenario shows Poland could halve its coal demand, boost energy from renewable sources to over 25 per cent and create 100,000 jobs by 2030. 

ON DEMAND WEBCAST of PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE HERE:  http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6954&theme=unfccc

For photos of this morning’s #Cough4Coal Protest at the Coal & Climate Summit, visit: http://bit.ly/cough4coal

Credit: Greenpeace International

Greenpeace activists from over 20 countries today protested on the roof of the Ministry of Economics against the World Coal Summit, hosted by the Polish Deputy Prime Minister and running concurrently with the UN climate negotiations in Warsaw. 


For more information or for one-on-one interviews with NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org. 

Climate Action Network (CAN) is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 850 members in over 100 countries. 

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