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COP 19: it's time for climate justice

29 November 2013 | by Frances Witt

I've just spent two weeks at the United Nations climate change talks in Warsaw (COP 19), and while our hopes for significant progress were dented, I was overwhelmed by the sense of solidarity and the desire for action, however long it takes.

COP 19 campaigners ask 'Where is the finance?'
Campaigners at COP 19 ask 'Where is the finance'?

Fasting for the Philippines

I felt privileged to fast - together with Rowan Williams, Christian Aid partners and supporters and hundreds of ordinary citizens around the world - last week to call for climate action.

Yeb Sano among a crowd of people We fasted in solidarity with the Philippine climate commissioner, Yeb Sano who called for countries to 'stop the climate madness' at the opening of the talks, just after his country was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.



Yeb Saňo among a crowd of journalists and supporters. Credit: CAN International

Climate change and extreme weather

It is difficult to attribute any one event to climate change, but it is clear that we can expect an increase in this kind of extreme weather if we don’t tackle this problem.

However, Yeb Sano’s yearning for progress wasn’t matched by the other delegates and some organisations. Frustrated with the slow progress in the talks, he chose to walk out on the penultimate day.

Action on climate change

Alongside many other organisations, we know that now is the time to inspire a mass movement of people, to demand climate action from their governments. Otherwise our politicians may continue to drag their feet.

Attention will first turn to the EU, which must, in March, agree strong targets for cutting carbon emissions by 2030.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has put world leaders on notice to bring bold pledges and action to his Climate Summit, in September 2014.

Many countries, regions and cities will be holding elections next year, so climate campaigners will go forward from Warsaw to issue a rallying call for citizens around the world to demand climate action from their governments.



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About the author

Frances Witt

Frances Witt is international advocacy adviser for Christian Aid

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