Protests expected ahead of Durban

By RTCC Staff


Protests look likely in Durban when COP17 opens for business on Monday, as frustration builds over the possible lack of progress at the conference. 

Former Costa Rican President José Maná Figueres has called for delegates of vulnerable countries to stage sit-ins and boycotts over the lack of urgency in the talks.

Following a similar pattern to the ‘Occupy’ protests which have been staged across the world in recent weeks, Figueres said diplomats from vulnerable countries should refuse to leave the talks until progress has been made.

Speaking to the Guardian he said: “I have called on all vulnerable countries to ‘occupy’ Durban. We need an expression of solidarity by the delegations of those countries that are most affected by climate change, who go from one meeting to the next without getting response on the issues that need to be dealt with.

“We went to Copenhagen with the illusion we could reach an equitable agreement. We went to Cancun where we saw slight but not sufficient progress. Frustration is now deep and building. Now we hear that we will need more conferences. Sometime we have to get serious. We should be going to Durban with the firm conviction that we do not come back until we have made substantial advances.”

The call follows doubts over whether a deal will be made at Durban, with the potential to leave a gap between commitments following the expiration of the Kyoto Protocol at the end of 2012.

Some countries have now warned a deal may not be made till 2015 or even later in 2020, as countries including the US and Canada refuse to sign up to second commitment period of the deal.

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