Nov 25, 2013

    Climate talks end, so does envoy's fast


    FOR Philippine diplomat Yeb Sano, Saturday's close of the United Nations climate talks in Poland comes with an unusual prize: He can eat again.

    The senior climate envoy had embarked on a tea-and-water-only fast on the first day of the talks on Nov 11, in a symbolic push for a good outcome.

    "I am famished. I am famished!" he said at the Warsaw National Stadium, where the discussions ended in a number of consensus agreements.

    "My doctor says I should take it slowly. So, in three days, I will be eating normal food."

    When asked what will that night's meal be, the negotiator replied, with a laugh: "Some vegetable juice."

    Mr Sano had pledged to fast until the latest round of UN talks made "meaningful" progress towards fighting the climate change that he blames for Typhoon Haiyan, which ravaged his country.

    Governments agreed that a new deal in 2015 would consist of a patchwork of national contributions to curb emissions that could blur a 20-year-old distinction between the obligations of rich and poor nations.

    The two-week meeting also created a Warsaw International Mechanism to help the poor cope with loss and damage from heatwaves, droughts, floods, desertification and rising sea levels - although rich nations refused to pledge new cash.

    No major nation offered tougher action to slow rising world greenhouse-gas emissions.

    UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said negotiators were on course for a 2015 summit in Paris, but not on track for limiting global warming to an agreed ceiling of 2 deg C above pre-industrial times to avoid dangerous change.