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World leaders betray their citizens on climate change

World leaders betray their citizens on climate change

22 November 2013

Unite, Britain’s biggest union, accused world leaders gathered in Warsaw for UN talks on climate change, of betraying future generations of workers through their failure to make any progress during the crucial talks aimed at avoiding the devastating effects of climate change.

The UN Warsaw Climate Conference is part of the process for agreeing a new global deal on tackling climate change by agreeing a global deal to reduce CO2 emissions.

It was hoped that a global deal would be signed in Paris in 2015. But disagreements and failures in Warsaw make it more unlikely that countries will set out a timetable for emission reduction targets before the Paris 2015 meeting, making a global deal much harder to achieve.

Representatives from unions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) around the world staged a walk-out protest at the Warsaw Climate Conference yesterday (21 November). It  is the first time that unions and NGOs have walked out of an international climate conference.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner, said: “Politicians from across the globe have betrayed us and they have betrayed future generations of workers, families and communities.  We need world leaders to show leadership and act to protect their citizens from the devastating effects of climate change rather than look after the interests of powerful vested interests trying to shirk their responsibilities.

“We support the decision by the International Trade Union Confederation and non-governmental organisations to walk out of the talks in protest. The tragic events in the Philippines and the impact of extreme weather events on some of the poorest communities is a stark reminder of the potential effects of climate change.

"We must tell our elected representatives in the strongest possible terms that there can be no more drift and delay - they must stand up and lead before it is too late.”

ENDS

Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Notes to editors:

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Unite is Britain and Ireland's largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey