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One year on global leaders must heed Haiyan warning

6 November 2014 - November 8 marks the first anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest tropical storm ever recorded making landfall, which devastated large parts of the Philippines, killing 6,300. The death toll also made it one of the deadliest typhoons in recorded history.

In the year since Haiyan struck, Christian Aid partner organisations in the Philippines have reached 290,000 people, helping them rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

The anniversary coincides with the publication of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which this week warned that climate change is set to inflict “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” unless carbon emissions are cut sharply and rapidly.

It is against the backdrop of that sobering warning that the annual UN summit on climate change will open in Lima, Peru on December 1.

Christian Aid’s Principle Climate Change Adviser, Dr Alison Doig, today urged governments at the summit to take heed of the IPCC’s warnings, saying Haiyan was a frightening example of what the world can expect if drastic action is not taken.

“The scientific consensus is that extreme weather events such as Typhoon Haiyan will become more frequent, and more intense, unless we act to stop the impacts of climate change already evident such as rising sea levels, and the warming of the oceans becoming worse,” she warned.

“It is now abundantly clear that all countries need to transition to a low-carbon energy future, while at the same time protecting vulnerable people from the impacts of climate disasters. 

“The IPCC report is quite clear. The only way to avoid disasters like Haiyan becoming a frequent occurrence is to act now, adapt to the effects of a changing climate and cut emissions to prevent climate change getting worse.

“The global climate deal which will be worked on in Lima and hopefully signed in Paris in December 2015 must be fair and ambitious, with countries focussed on keeping the temperature rise to well below 2oC degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“This will require many countries setting aside their own short term interests for the common good.”


For more information contact Joe Ware at jware@christian-aid.org. The 24 hour Christian Aid press duty phone is 07850 242950.

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended:  this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.  Further details at http://actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk


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