At the COP 18 climate talks in Doha, Naderev M Sano head of climate change in Philippines, delivered a powerful address that is being heard around the world. As he spoke the death toll from Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines was at more than 500 people, an almost equal number were still missing and more than 300,000 Filipinos had lost their homes.
Addressing the main plenary in Doha Sano said: “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” he said.
“There is massive and widespread devastation. Hundreds of thousands of people have been rendered without homes. And the ordeal is far from over, as Typhoon Bopha has regained some strength as it approaches another populated area in the western part of the Philippines. Madam Chair, we have never had a typhoon like Bopha, which has wreaked havoc in a part of the country that has never seen a storm like this in half a century. And heartbreaking tragedies like this is not unique to the Philippines, because the whole world, especially developing countries struggling to address poverty and achieve social and human development, confront these same realities.”
Mr Sano made a point of indicating how important it is to act now. “This day marks a very crucial moment. We are 25 days away from the end of the 1st CP of KP. But we don’t really have 25 days. We have a few precious hours left. We are at a critical juncture,” he said.
The most emotionally moving part of his speech, and this is the part covered in the video, came when Sano made an impassioned plea at the AWG-KP final session:
“I speak on behalf of 100 million people and I am making an urgent appeal…. I appeal to the leaders from all over the world to open their eyes to the stark reality that we face…it is about what is demanded of us by 7 billion people I appeal to all please no more delays no more excused. Please let Doha be remembered as the place where we found the political will to turn things around and let 2012 be remembered as the year the world found the courage to do so, to find the courage to take responsibility for the future we want.”
Mr Sano concluded his remarks by asking the question:
“If not us then who
If now now then when
if not here than where”
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