PH negotiator calls for end to climate crisis ‘madness’

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Naderev Saño pledges to fast during the 12-day conference until "a meaningful outcome is in sight."

A MOMENT OF SILENCE. Naderev Sano and other delegates pay standing tribute to victims of Typhoon Haiyan during the UN Climate Change Conference COP 19 on November 11, 2013  AFP PHOTO/JANEK SKARZYNSKI

MANILA, Philippines – Naderev Saño, the Philippines’ Commissioner for the Climate Change Commission, spoke at the opening day of the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Warsaw, Poland on November 11, urging for an end to the climate crisis “madness.” He ended his speech by pledging to fast at the talks until there is “a meaningful outcome” to the discussions.

Saño reminded those in attendance of the speech he made 11 months prior where, in light of Typhoon Bopha, he appealed for the world to open its “eyes to the stark reality that we face.”

Watch Naderev Saño’s 2012 speech:

In his speech today, he called Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) a “hellstorm,” a storm “so strong that if there was a Category 6, it would have fallen squarely in that box.” (Read: Aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan): What we Know)

“What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness right here in Warsaw,” said Sano.

He added that a second potential storm is developing, and he was afraid of the possibility of another typhoon reaching the same areas struck by Haiyan.

He also noted that while the Philippines is working on its own renewable energy program, it struggles with it. Saño challenged developed countries to aid the Philippines by providing an estimated US$500 million for part of the incremental cost for the Philippines’ feed-in tariff “that would otherwise be paid for by the impoverished electricity consumer.”

He added that such a funding would only be “until renewables reach grid parity with with fossil fuel or conventional fuels,” calling it a socialized feed-in tariff.

He also called on climate change deniers, telling them to “get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of your armchair,” daring them to visit the places worst hit by the effects of climate change, including the Philippines.

Saño also discussed Typhoon Haiyan from a personal standpoint. He noted that the typhoon made landfall in his family’s hometown.

“Up to this hour,” he expressed, “I agonize while waiting for word as to the fate of my very own relatives. What gives me renewed strength and great relief was when my brother succeeded in communicating with us that he has survived the onslaught.”

Saño closed his speech by voluntarily fasting for the climate, refraining from eating food during the conference “until a meaningful outcome is in sight, until concrete pledges have been made to ensure mobilization of resources for the Green Climate Fund.”

World nations launched a new round of talks in Warsaw Monday to pave the way for a 2015 deal to cut climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

The 12-day United Nations talks opened amid a slew of warnings about potentially disastrous warming with increasingly extreme weather phenomena unless humankind changes its atmosphere-polluting, fossil-fuel burning ways. – With reports from Victor Barreiro Jr and the Agence France-Presse/

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