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UN panel issues corrections for climate report
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Nov 12, 2013

World Bank's Kim: End 'silly' debate on climate change
Washington (AFP) Nov 12, 2013 - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said Tuesday that the deadly typhoon disaster in the Philippines should put an end to "silly" arguments denying climate change.

"If you think of the number of storms that have hit over the past year, the severity of those storms... The frequency of these events is increasing and that's exactly what the climate change scientists have predicted," Kim said.

"What I hope the tragedy in the Philippines helps us to do is to move away from having what I think are silly arguments about not really the science, but about science as a whole."

Some 10,000 or more are feared dead and hundreds of thousands left homeless after the super-typhoon Haiyan blasted through central Philippines on Friday.

It was the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded to have made landfall, and has raised fresh questions over whether global warming is behind an increase in the intensity and frequency of such storms.

Speaking to journalists, Kim said people need to stop arguing over whether climate change is real, and do something about it.

"Ninety-five percent of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic (human-influenced) climate change is real, and that we have to do something about it or the impacts are going to be severe," he said.

He said the damages from such storms run about $6 billion a year and that the cost will mount sharply over the coming decades.

"Let's stop the argument and move forward," he said. "Let's make the investments we need."

He called for more spending on renewable energy and on more environment-friendly agriculture.

UN climate scientists have issued corrections to the summary of a key report on global warming issued in September.

"Errors... were discovered by the authors of the report after its approval and acceptance" by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC said on Monday.

"The version that was released on that date was subject to copy edit, and final layout."

The panel issued six corrections to the summary for policymakers (SPM) in the first tome of the much-awaited Fifth Assessment Report.

The fixes mainly make slight increases or reductions in figures for estimates of historic emissions of greenhouse gases.

Predictions of the likely temperature rise this century and other core forecasts are not affected.

The IPCC stressed it was following procedures for rectifying mistakes in "full transparency" before the report is formally published.

The panel suffered embarrassment after climate sceptics found several mistakes in its Fourth Assessment Report, published in 2007, which unleashed political action on rolling back carbon emissions.

The new report, issued in Stockholm on September 27, focuses on the physical science of climate change. It is the first of three volumes in the Fifth Assessment Report that will be issued over the next year.

In it, the IPCC said it was more certain than ever that humans were the cause of global warming and predicted temperatures would rise another 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius (0.5 - 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit) this century.

It projected sea levels would rise between 26 and 82 centimetres (10.4 and 32.8 inches) by 2100, and warned of a higher risk of heatwaves, floods and droughts.

The summary for policymakers, issued in Stockholm, was agreed at the end of a hectic week in which the IPCC had to discuss hundreds of proposed amendments to the text.

Climate activists down forks in solidarity with Philippines
Warsaw (AFP) Nov 12, 2013 - Ecologists at UN climate talks in Warsaw downed forks Tuesday in a solidarity fast with the typhoon-ravaged Philippines' chief negotiator, demanding "ambitious action" to halt global warming.

When the 12-day summit opened in the Polish capital on Monday, Naderev Sano pledged to fast until progress is made towards fighting the climate change he blames for the super typhoon that struck his country.

About 30 environmentalists from countries including Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Poland, India and the United States, announced Tuesday they would also stop eating in support.

"Some are fasting in solidarity with Mr. Sano with no food whatsoever, just water, to the end of the summit, or until real progress is made," Anjali Appadurai, an activist with Friends of the Earth Sri Lanka, told AFP.

Protesting at one of the conference venue's many busy cafeterias, activists wore large red dots on their lapels as a symbol of solidarity with the Philippines envoy and touted signs reading: "It's lunch time but we're not eating", "We stand with you, we stand with the Philippines", and "Climate justice now!"

Lydinyda Nacpil, an activist with the Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, called for "ambitious compensation and finance, reparations, solidarity and ambition and overall equity" for developing nations hardest hit by extreme weather events they blame on climate change.

Sano himself urged a "meaningful outcome" at the Warsaw talks on the creation of a mechanism that would provide compensation for countries that suffer losses and damage due to climate change-induced weather events.

"We will continue fasting until a meaningful outcome is in sight in these negotiations, until the loss and damage mechanism sees light," Sano told reporters.

"It's very obvious that the loss and damage mechanism is something that we care about as a delegation because the Philippines is bearing the brunt of this climate crisis."

The issue of "loss and damage" nearly scuppered last year's round of negotiations in Doha, Qatar, with countries led by the United States fearing an open-ended liability for compensation.

The Doha meeting agreed to put in place "institutional arrangements" for loss and damage in Warsaw.

Sano said his father's family hails from the Tacloban region of the Philippines that bore the brunt of Super Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever recorded to have made landfall.

"Until this hour it remains uncertain what happened to many of our relatives," he said.

"It gives me great strength and big relief to hear from my very own brother who has survived the ordeal and I stand in solidarity with him."

World nations launched a new round of talks in Warsaw Monday to pave the way for a 2015 deal for cutting climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

The 12-day United Nations talks opened amid a slew of warnings about potentially disastrous warming with increasingly extreme weather phenomena unless humankind changes its atmosphere-polluting, fossil-fuel burning ways.


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Climate activists down forks in solidarity with Philippines
Warsaw (AFP) Nov 12, 2013
Ecologists at UN climate talks in Warsaw downed forks Tuesday in a solidarity fast with the typhoon-ravaged Philippines' chief negotiator, demanding "ambitious action" to halt global warming. When the 12-day summit opened in the Polish capital on Monday, Naderev Sano pledged to fast until progress is made towards fighting the climate change he blames for the super typhoon that struck his cou ... read more

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