30 September, 2020, 2:12 pm Central - 24°C Rain

Environmentalists and observers barred from UN climate talks after protest inside the conference

Environmentalists and observers barred from UN climate talks after protest inside the conference

By Semi Turaga
Friday 13/12/2019
Protesters staged a sit in at UN climate talks [Photo:BBC]

Environmentalists and observers have been barred from UN climate talks in Madrid after a protest inside the conference.

Around 200 climate campaigners were ejected after staging a sit-in, preventing access to one of the negotiating halls.

BBC News reports protesters said they were "pushed, bullied and touched without consent."

In the wake of the disruption, all other observers were then barred from the talks.

Observers play an important role in the talks, representing civil society. 

They are allowed to sit in on negotiations and have access to negotiators on condition that they do not reveal the contents of those discussions.

Just hours after Greta Thunberg had delivered a powerful speech to COP25, young campaigners staged a noisy demonstration in front of the main halls where the UN secretary-general was due to update the conference on the progress of the talks.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says he is tired of hearing major emitters excuse inaction in cutting their own emissions on the basis they are 'just a fraction' of the world's total.

Bainimarama says the truth is, in a family of nearly 200 nations, collective efforts are key. 

He says everyone is in the same canoe but currently, that canoe is taking on water with nearly 200 holes -- and there are too few of us trying to patch them.


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