Fossil Fuel Companies Killed My Family

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, just an hour’s drive from Krakow and about the same distance from Auschwitz, the largest Nazi concentration camp of World War II. Nearly a million Jews died in the camp.

Here in Katowice, world leaders are gathered for the final few days of the 24th annual UN climate conference. Officials from nearly 200 countries are here to negotiate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. But three years after Paris, countries appear no closer to curbing global emissions and halting catastrophic climate change. New studies show global carbon emissions may have risen as much 3.7 percent in 2018, marking the second annual increase in a row. One recent report likened rising emissions to a, quote, “speeding freight train.”

As the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that humanity has only a dozen years to mitigate climate change or face global catastrophe, we begin today’s show with a woman who’s already felt the harrowing effects of climate change, is dedicating her life to climate activism as a result. Joanna Sustento’s life was turned upside down in 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest cyclones in recorded history, devastated her country, the Philippines, killing five members of her family and thousands of others. This is Joanna telling her story to Greenpeace Philippines.

JOANNA SUSTENTO: From the biggest of tragedies, hope can be found. My name is Joanna Sustento. I had a happy life, a good job, great friends and a wonderful loving family. But in a matter of minutes, all of that changed.

For those who experienced Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded, it was apocalyptic. I witnessed my mother, my father, brother, sister-in-law and my 3-year-old nephew being swept away by the storm surge. It left my brother and me to search for our family’s bodies in the aftermath. We never…

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