Philippines makes post-typhoon appeal at UN climate talks
DOHA - The Philippines urged UN climate negotiators in Doha on Thursday to learn from the deadly typhoon that struck the archipelago this week and wake up to the realities of global warming.
"I appeal to the whole world, I appeal to leaders from all over the world, to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face," Filipino climate negotiator Naderev Sano told the yearly gathering of nearly 200 countries.
"An important backdrop for my delegation is the profound impacts of climate change that we are already confronting. As we sit here, every single hour, even as we vacillate and procrastinate here, the death toll is rising."
Officials say a quarter of a million people were made homeless and 477 confirmed dead after the Philippines' worst typhoon this year.
Negotiators entered the penultimate day of talks in the Qatari capital on Thursday deeply divided on the issue of near-term finance for poor nations' global warming mitigation.
The issue is key to the adoption of a package of plans by Friday for limiting climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions, as scientists warn that the world is headed for calamitous warming levels accompanied by more extreme weather events.
"I appeal to all, please, no more delays, no more excuses," said Sano.
"Please, let Doha be remembered as the place where we found the political will to turn things around. Please, let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to find the will to take responsibility for the future we want."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged negotiators to put aside their differences and find compromises in tackling the mounting global warming "crisis."
Developed countries are being asked to show how they intend to keep a promise to raise climate funding for poor countries to $100 billion (76 billion euros) per year by 2020 -- up from a total of $30 billion in 2010-2012.
Developing countries say they need at least another $60 billion between now and 2015 to deal with the fallout from climate change.
The United States and European Union, as a bloc, have refused to put concrete figures on the table in Doha for new 2013-2020 climate funding.