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Category — U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change

Warsaw – Day 1: Climate talks open with tears

Paul Brown in Warsaw


Royal Castle of Warsaw. Image: Andrzej Barabasz (Chepry) via Wikimedia Commons

One of the Climate News Network editors, Paul Brown, is in the Polish capital, host of the UN climate talks – the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP 19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. As he reports, one topic dominated the opening: “We cannot manage this abomination on our own, say the Philippines.”

In an emotional opening to the new round of climate talks here in Poland, Yeb Sano, the chief of the Philippines delegation, with tears rolling down his cheeks, said he would not eat before the end of the two weeks of negotiations until a substantial deal had been done to help countries deal with the effects of climate change.

His appeal to the Climate Change Convention’s 19th meeting came after the conference had already stood in silence to pay its respects to the victims of super-typhoon Haiyan. He described how his brother had lived through the disaster and helped carry bodies from shacks wrecked by the wind.

“In solidarity with my countrymen who are struggling to find food back home and with my brother who has not had food for the last three days, I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate. This means I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this COP until a meaningful outcome is in sight.”

After his pledge Sano received an unprecedented standing ovation from the representatives of the 195 countries at the opening ceremony.

At a press conference Dr Alicia Ilaga, a member of the delegation, said the damage of climate change was already a reality in her country. Before the last climate conference in Doha in 2012 the Philippines had suffered a category five typhoon that had killed 1,000 people. And now, before this conference, had come another category five, killing an estimated 10,000 at least. [Read more →]

November 11, 2013   No Comments