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Climate change will ravage rich and poor alike – a call to the British Commonwealth

Don’t be complacent: climate change will ravage rich and poor alike, Guardian , Patricia Scotland, 9 Nov 17  Lady Scotland is secretary general of the Commonwealth

My trip to islands that bore the brunt of Hurricanes Irma and Maria proved one thing: we must think again about how to help those most at risk

“…….My worry is that change will not happen quickly enough to meet the mammoth challenges facing the Caribbean and other regions that have been so grievously damaged by a season of climatic upheaval.

All those involved in making these rules, such as the World Bank and the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, have to consider seriously our present reality and to create eligibility criteria that adequately respond to what countries, particularly those more prone to natural disasters, are actually experiencing.

This is a concern for all of us; because just before the Caribbean hurricanes, hundreds died in mudslides in Sierra Leone and in floods in Asia, and thousands were displaced.

This is not just about a woman, thousands of miles away, sitting amid the wreckage of her home. This is about a rapid, drastic change in climate that is wreaking havoc on our planet. Even in Ireland, Storm Ophelia claimed three liveslast month.

We need to accept the new reality of fast and furious natural disasters and have a plan to deal with it. We need a targeted global response that enables us to implement the Paris agreement on climate change and better coordinate a rapid reaction, with everything taken into account: search and rescue, regional coordination and legal impediments, such as the revision of aid rules.

But it also needs to recognise that the human spirit demonstrated by the Commonwealth during this traumatic period is something upon which we can build. We need all hands on deck. If not us, who – and if not now, when?

November 9, 2017 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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