Socialist Worker

Mass walkout at UN climate talks in Warsaw

Issue No. 2381

Charities, campaigning organisations and trade unions led the walkout

Charities, campaigning organisations and trade unions led the walkout (Pic: Friends of the Earth Europe)

Around 800 people walked out of the United Nations climate change talks in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday of last week.

Charities, campaigning organisations and trade unions led the walkout. It was the first time in the conference’s 19 year history that the conference was boycotted.

Those who walked out are angry at moves by governments of some of the wealthiest nations—particularly Canada and Australia—to block measures against climate change. And they are angry at the ability of big business to set the agenda.

“The corporate dominance on show is unacceptable,” said International Trade Union Confederation general secretary Sharan Burrow. 

“It is the same companies that advocate environmental and social responsibility that exploit workers and the environment through their supply chains.”

However the groups that walked out all said they would return for next year’s talks in Lima, Peru.

Earlier in the week negotiators from 132 developing countries, led by China, also temporarily withdrew from talks.

After days of deadlock governments eventually agreed on a weak statement about a deal they hope to reach in Paris, France, in 2015.


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

Tue 26 Nov 2013, 17:39 GMT
Issue No. 2381
Share this article


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.