Diplomats from some developing countries could occupy the COP17 talks in Durban to protest over the lack of urgency on global warming talks. Charlotte Reid has more.
As the largest city in South Africa, Durban, prepares for the arrival of almost 200 delegates from across the world to figure out an approach to climate change, it seems there is a chance that it will become the next occupation site.
Delegates attending COP17 from developing countries could stage sit-ins at the talks, which begin November 28th and continue until December 9th, if they do not address the issue of global warming urgently enough.
This move comes after the former president of Costa Rica spoke at the Climate Vulnerable Forum calling for an occupation movement to happen in Durban.
Speaking to OneWorldTV, José María Figueres said, “Nations around the world that are already being affected by climate change need the empathy, the solidarity […] for them to be able to adapt to climate change and lower their carbon emissions“.
The developing world is the worst affected by global warming, according to global risks advisory firm Maplecroft.
To help counteract this, the former president said, “Rich countries need to show empathy, they need to show they care, they need to show a sense of urgency with respect to addressing challenges that are not only of the developing world they are their challenges as well.
“At the end of the day climate change affects us all.”
Figueres noted that the world has seen a number of political movements this year and said the Occupy Wall Street movement is “a sign of the frustration felt that we are not addressing their economic needs“.
“So with respect to climate maybe we need an Occupy Durban, a sit in by the delegations of the countries that are most affected that are going from one COP to the next COP to the next COP without getting positive and concrete responses on the issues that they want dealt with.”
In the run up to the two week-long conference, there were indications that developed countries were going to be taking COP17 seriously, as many have been showing signs of working hard to decrease their carbon emissions. But it has been reported that rich countries are likely to delay a decision on a climate change treaty until possibly 2020.
To follow what happens at COP17, read Blue & Green Tomorrow‘s coverage. Four practical steps you can take yourself would be to speak to your financial advisers or let us find one for you through our online form, switch to renewable energy, make your Christmas as ethical as possible, and if you are going to Durban, look at one of our sustainable travel partners.