Emotions run high at UN-Climate Change Conference in Poland

By Charles Ogallo

The realities of climate change effects continue to weigh heavy on delegates attending high powered UN climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland  with many giving emotional speeches terming  two devastating events that took place over the weekend in Puntland and Philippines as climate change madness.

Tropical cyclone that hit parts of Puntland State in northeastern Somalia over the weekend killing at least 100 people, took place just a day before the high powered UN conference opens it doors at the historical city Warsaw.

That was followed by another devastating Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines which experts termed as one of the most powerful typhoons ever to make landfall.

Yeb Sano, Philippines head of delegation at the UN climate change in Poland, whose speech brought tears to the eyes of many delegates, announced that he will stop eating until participants make meaningful progress focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The Puntaland State and Philippines events may have been signals to nations and their representatives at the COP19 Warsaw conference that immediate action was required to avert further destructions across the global.  

Addressing the conference at the Warsaw National Stadium on Monday, the venue of COP 19, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change –UNFCCC who appeared alarmed by the two devastating events asked delegates to act fast in-order to safeguard present and future generations.  

She pointed to the sobering realities of climate change and the rise in extreme events that climate science has long predicted, including the devastating Typhoons and cyclones.

“We must stay focused, exert maximum effort for the full time and produce a positive result, because what happens in this stadium is not a game. There are not two sides, but the whole of humanity.  There are no winners and losers, we all either win or lose in the future we make for ourselves.” says  Christiana. 

The cyclone, known as 03A, hit the Eyl, Beyla, Dangorayo and Hafun districts along the eastern coast of Somalia before moving across to Alula at the tip of the Horn of Africa.

The President of Puntland, Abdirahman Farole, held an emergency meeting in the capital Garowe, as the government declared a state of emergency.

Hundreds of people were reportedly missing, with thousands of livestock lost and fishing boats swept away.

Eyl, about 1,300 km north-east of Mogadishu, was the worst affected area.

“Both the fishing communities and nomadic pastoralists were badly affected,” President Farole told the media at a briefing on Monday, announcing that the Puntland Disaster Management and Rescue Committee was set to respond to the natural disaster.


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