Heherson Alvarez

COP19: Heherson Alvarez on why Typhoon Haiyan will become the norm

COP19 (18/11/13) – Heherson Alvarez, Philippines Climate Change Commission talks about why the recent typhoon in the Philippines will become the norm if countries do not take bold leadership at the UN Climate Talks.

As one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of a changing climate, Alvarez talks about how the “frightening” Typhoon Haiyan has not made countries aware that extreme weather will become frequent unless they take action to tackle climate change.

He criticises the negotiations for taking a slow turn. He says that there are a few years left before the UN Climate Talks in Paris in 2015, by which time, countries are supposed to deliver strong solutions. However, he says countries are acting as if they have “all the time in the world”.

He says the UN must take leadership because there is little time left. He also adds that developed and industrialised countries, who have the resources for mitigation, adaptation and finance, must take action.

Alvarez says that small countries, like the Philippines, are working to find their own solutions in the meantime. However, they need assistance in finance and technology. He says Filipinos, like lead negotiator for the Philippines, Yeb Sano, who is fasting for the duration of the UN Climate Talks, want to do their part.

Paris, he says, must produce a treaty that enshrines mutual caring, support and survival.