The Commonwealth and Climate Change

Baroness Scotland in Dominica web large ComSec

Debbie Ransome (Caribbean Intelligence) writes about Dominica-born Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Patricia Scotland and the Commonwealth Finance Access Hub, launched in 2015 for emergencies such as the recent devastation left by Hurricanes Irma and Maria:

Following two ferocious hurricanes, the Caribbean, its representatives and global friends attended the just-concluded United Nation’s Climate Change conference in Bonn, COP23, with an extremely strong hand to play. “Dominica stands on the front line of the war on climate change,” Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told delegates at COP23. “The world must do better,” the Dominican leader said after outlining the devastation meted out to his country by Hurricane Maria in September.

The message was not one of “pity us” but that climate change will affect all of us in the long term – but small island states are in the front line now.

The Dominica-born Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland described the devastation she had viewed during a recent visit in an interview with Caribbean Intelligence©. “The most horrific thing you’ve ever seen,” she said, describing houses which had simply disappeared in the hurricane, leaving mere dents in the road. She relives the experience in a Commonwealth video.

[See video at Caribbean Intelligence.]

On global initiatives to help hurricane-hit countries after the mainstream media attention wanes, Baroness Scotland said: “Please don’t forget us, because it’s something that happens to every Commonwealth region and it’s coming to you some time soon.”

[. . .] The Commonwealth has been putting one of its initiatives into immediate action following hurricane season 2017. The Commonwealth Finance Access Hub, launched in 2015, allows experts to be placed on the ground to help battered countries fast-track their access to and applications for international aid and expertise.

Baroness Scotland told Caribbean Intelligence© that the initiative, which actually started its work in December 2016, had meant that the Commonwealth was not “scrambling” when the hurricanes hit the Caribbean in September 2017. [. . .]

For full article, see

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