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Typhoon Haiyan: Philippines climate chief Yeb Sano makes emotional plea for climate change action

Tuesday November 12, 2013 - 18:24 EDT

The Philippines' climate change commissioner has broken down at a UN conference, making an emotional plea for climate action after Typhoon Haiyan devastated his home town.

, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, made landfall on Friday.

The country's climate change commissioner Yeb Sano says he will fast for the duration of the conference, which lasts two weeks, in solidarity with his brother, who has not eaten for five days.

The super typhoon hit his family's home town and he is still waiting for word of the fate of his own relatives.

"I struggle to find words even for the images that we see on the news coverage," he told conference delegates in Poland.

"And I struggle to find the words to describe how I feel about the losses."

He said delegates needed to "stop this madness right now" by organising concerted action to combat global climate change.

"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," he said.

"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."


© ABC 2013

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