Typhoon Haiyan

United Nations chief says Super Typhoon Haiyan is warning to mankind

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 5:16am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 November, 2013, 6:20am

UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Super Typhoon Haiyan, which killed thousands in the Philippines, was an example of climate change and should serve as a warning to mankind.

Ban was speaking at Tallinn University in Estonia on a tour of several Baltic states before joining a second week of climate talks in Poland.

The UN chief said the world was facing a tipping point, as countries thrash out a deal to be signed in 2015 to cut earthwarming greenhouse gas emissions.

"There are a lot of people on earth who seem to believe we have two earths," Ban said.

"We have seen now what has happened in the Philippines. It is an urgent warning," he said, "an example of changed weather and how climate change is affecting all of us on earth."

The devastating typhoon - the strongest ever to make landfall - has been seized upon by climate change activists who have linked it to global warming.

While experts are hesitant to link extreme weather phenomenons to climate change, the United Nations has said rising sea levels make coastal populations more vulnerable to storm surges.

The latest round of UN talks to set new climate goals comes amid warnings a 2009 aim of limiting warming to an increase of two degrees Celsius in average global temperature is growing ever more elusive.