[Warsaw – Poland] – November 11, 2013: The major UN climate negotiations of the year opened today against a backdrop of tragedy with more than 10,000 people expected to have been killed in the most extreme Typhoon to have ever hit the Philippines.
According to the IPCC, such typhoons are expected to become more frequent and more extreme if the climate continues to change.
Speaking at the Climate Action Network opening press conference, Dr Alicia Ilaga from the Filipino delegation, said the devastation caused by the Typhoon highlighted how important it was that these talks agree to establish an mechanism in the UN to deal with the loss and damage caused by climate change.
“I bleed for my country, I bleed for my people who have been buried and washed away,” Dr Ilaga said. “We are investing in renewable energy, we are trying to adapt, but we cannot bear this burden on our own.”
Climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. That industry is having unprecedented access to these negotiations at the behest of the coal-dependent Polish Government, through corporate sponsorship and the Coal and Climate Summit being held next week.
Julia Michalak EU policy officer from CAN Europe said that if the Polish Government wanted to be taken seriously on the international stage, it needed to prove it deserved to host this year’s climate negotiations.
“The Polish Government can show it cares about future generations by abandoning plans to build new coal mines, ceasing to block EU climate action including discussions around an ambitious 2030 carbon pollution reduction target,” Michalak said.
While the tragedy of the Philippines disaster cast a pall over the opening of the climate negotiations in Warsaw, it should give parties a wakeup call to come up with concrete steps to urgently reduce carbon pollution and provide funds for poorer countries to take their own climate actions.
“The Polish government’s flagrant fossil fuel agenda should not deter parties from pushing hard for positive outcomes in Warsaw. This is no time for low expectations. We expect vision and leadership on the path to Paris in 2015,” said Tasneem Essop, WWF Head of Delegation to COP19.
ON DEMAND WEBCAST of PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE HERE: http://unfccc4.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/cop19/templ/play.php?id_kongresssession=6863&theme=unfccc
For more information or for one-on-one interviews with NGO experts, please contact Climate Action Network International’s communications coordinator Ria Voorhaar on +49 (0) 157 317 35568 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Climate Action Network (CAN) is the world’s largest network of civil society organizations working together to promote government action to address the climate crisis, with more than 850 members in over 100 countries.
Climate Action Network-International