Filipino Delegate Makes Emotional Plea For Action On Climate Change

Naderev Saño fights tears at the final session of a climate change conference. “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” posted on

Naderev Saño, lead negotiator for the Philippines at the Climate Conference in Doha, said at its final session this week that his country is already facing the effects of climate change — Bopha, a typhoon in the Philippines, made landfall on Tuesday, killing more than 500 people.

“We have never had a typhoon like Bopha, which has reached havoc in a part of the country that has never seen a storm like this in half a century,” Saño said.

“I am making an urgent appeal — not as a negotiator, not as a leader of my delegation, but as a Filipino — I appeal to the whole world, I appeal to the leaders from all over the world, to open our eyes to the stark reality that we face.”

“Please, no more delays, no more excuses. Please, let Doha be remembered as the place where we found the political will to turn things around,” Saño said. “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

The typhoon left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and, as Saño said, “the ordeal is far from over”:

Residents carry the coffin of a typhoon victim past a destroyed house in New Bataan town in Compostela Valley in southern Philippines on Dec. 6, 2012. Erik De Castro / Reuters

An aerial view of damaged houses caused by flash floods in Compostela Valley province. Reuters

A woman cries after identifying a relative who was one of the flash flood victims after Typhoon Bopha hit New Bataan in Compostela province. Reuters

Philippine National Police clear a highway of toppled coconut trees after Typhoon Bopha made a landfall in Compostela Valley on Dec. 4. Karlos Manlupig / AP

Rescuers carry a flash flood victim after Typhoon Bopha hit New Bataan in Compostela province on Dec. 5. Reuters

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