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‘Open your eyes,’ Manila tells bickering climate chiefs

AFP-JIJI

The Philippines urged bickering U.N. climate negotiators in Doha on Thursday to take heed from the typhoon that struck the archipelago this week and wake up to the realities of global warming.

Philippine climate envoy Naderev Sano made an emotive appeal for urgent action as the gathering deadlocked on the issue of money for poorer countries’ efforts to cut global warming in the next few years.

“I appeal to leaders from all over the world to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face,” he said to applause. “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 500 people were killed and 300,000 people made homeless by the Philippines’ worst typhoon this year — the kind of extreme weather event scientists believe will become more frequent as temperatures rise.

Yet negotiators from nearly 200 countries entered the penultimate day of U.N. climate talks divided on financial assistance to the developing world.

The issue is key to the adoption of a package of plans by Friday for limiting climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

“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 . . . for the future we want.”