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.
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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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