The Philippines’ climate change chief has broken down while delivering an emotional plea at the United Nations conference COP 19, and asked the international community to take action on climate change – and soon.
More than 10,000 people are thought to have been killed by Typhoon Haiyan – a storm which devastated the speaker’s hometown. He is still waiting to find out the fate of his own relatives.
Yeb Sano, the country’s climate change commissioner, told the other conference delegates that, “I struggle to find words even for the images that we see on the news coverage … And I struggle to find the words to describe how I feel about the losses.”
Sano asked the international community present at the conference to “stop this madness right now”, and start making a concerted effort to combat climate change. He continued:
I speak for my delegation, but I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm.
I speak also for those who have been orphaned by the storm. I speak the people now racing against time to save survivors and alleviate the suffering of the people affected.
We can take drastic action now to ensure that we prevent a future where super typhoons become a way of life.
Australia is not being represented at the conference by a senior member of the Abbott government.
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