Sixbert Simon Mwanga
Climate Action Network – Tanzania
The UN climate change meeting (COP19) was concluded in the city of Warsaw in Poland on 23rd November 2013. Initially the meeting was planned to wind up on 22nd November 2013. Like in many other UN climate change negotiations, COP19 witnessed developed countries acting as last minute brokers to most decisions. This left many delegates from developing countries who had high expectations from this COP for a roadmap to Paris frustrated and angry.
Some even left the national stadium and hotels before final decisions to most important issues.
NGOs and civil society walked out of the meeting hall in protest of the lack of progress in Warsaw. This was followed by shouting “Stop Climate Madness” by activists and civil society who remained into plenary meetings. As said earlier delibarately delaying until the last minute is not new in the UNFCCC talks and no one cares except representatives of the vulnerable countries.
This ever growing culture in the UN’s structure leaves many questions to delegates and civil societies representing already affected communities by climate change. These questions include: why delegates from developed countries push most of decions at the last minute of the negotiations even where there is a possibility to reach consensus earlier? Are they enjoying to make climate decisions alone as they are the main causative? Is this another form of climate change in the UNFCCC negotiations? Is it possible for these countries to show real leadership to address climate change impacts by providing climate finance with 50% on adaptation as well as meeting their emissions reduction commitments? What is the role of the UNFCCC secretariat in these negotiations, how can it be utilized by whom and when? There is no easy way COP19 can easily forget countries like Australia, India, China, Poland and Japan which are responsible for the weak outcome of the conference.Some even came to decrease their mitigation ambitions while the Polish government welcomed COP delegates in a cynical environment because at the same time a coal conference was held in Warsaw.
Future of Climate Action
Regardless of the discouragements, relatively slow pace and hard time; a successful fight to climate change impacts needs a global partnership. The effective use of the Bonn sessions, Ban Ki-moon summit and COP20 in Lima will help us reach our goal of a strong, equitable international agreement by 2015 in Paris.