Grim Start to Warsaw Climate Talks

Yeb Sano, delegate from the Philippines, is fasting throughout U.N. climate talks as he grieves the devastation from the typhoon that struck his country.
National Journal
Alex Brown
Nov. 13, 2013, 7:26 a.m.

This week’s United Na­tions cli­mate sum­mit in Po­land ar­rived on the heels of a dev­ast­at­ing typhoon that struck the Phil­ip­pines — for some, a tra­gic re­mind­er of the need to act quickly on cli­mate is­sues. Here’s a look at what’s happened so far.

Yeb Sano, del­eg­ate from the Phil­ip­pines, gave a tear­ful plea for ac­tion dur­ing the open­ing ses­sion, cit­ing the thou­sands killed in his coun­try and pledging to fast for the re­mainder of the sum­mit un­til mean­ing­ful ac­tion is taken. He re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion.

Mean­while, some U.S. of­fi­cials fear that the talks will turn to the pos­sib­il­ity of pay­outs for coun­tries af­fected by dis­asters that were ex­acer­bated by cli­mate change, re­ports The Guard­i­an. An­oth­er study found that Haiti and the Phil­ip­pines suffered the most from cli­mate-re­lated dis­asters in 2012, lend­ing fuel to the no­tion that less-de­veloped coun­tries need help to deal with cli­mate prob­lems.

On Wed­nes­day, a re­port de­signed to provide guidelines for the talks was mod­i­fied slightly to re­flect lower es­tim­ates for his­tor­ic­al emis­sions levels.

And soon after the con­fer­ence is over, Po­land may move to ex­pand its coal use.

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