In Warsaw, 133 representatives from developing nations walked out of COP 19 climate negotiations. Their exit follows a refusal from industrialized countries such as the United States, Canada, Norway, and Australia to address compensation for countries slammed by the impacts of global warming until after the next round of talks take place in Paris two years from now.
In the wake of crippling storms across the developing world such as Typhoon Haiyan, delegates from groups including the Least Developed Countries, Africa Group, and the Alliance of Small Island States have reached a saturation point with rhetoric from the industrialized world. Their frustration peaked after Brazil proposed a program to find a way to quantify and compensate less wealthy nations for the damage incurred by the biggest CO2 emitters, and those most responsible for the pollution balked at the idea.
“The EU understands that the issue is incredibly important for developing countries. But they should be careful about … creating a new institution. This is not [what] this process needs,” said EU climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard. “We cannot have a system where we have automatic compensation when severe events happen around the world. That is not feasible.”
In response, China and the G77 organized a walk-out. Claudia Salerno, Venezuela’s lead negotiator and member of the bloc stated, “When you see developed countries being so bold to tell you that they are not even considering reducing their emissions, that they are not even considering paying for the costs that those inactions have on the life of others, that is really rude and hard to handle it politically.”
As the international community struggles with the very real, physical fall-out from climate change, delegates have the enormous challenge of navigating human laws for the sake of global health. With only two more days of negotiations remaining, it is hoped that the nations can reach some sort of accord to begin to bring down emissions. And if they don’t, this video shows how screwed we are going to be.