Wednesday, May 2, 2018

When will the world’s polluters start paying for the mess they made?

The climate wars have begun and we call to you from its front line. Climate change is not a concept or a future risk, it is our reality.

A few months ago, Hurricane Maria caused economic losses and damages of 226% of Dominica’s GDP. Only two years before, Tropical storm Erika cost Dominica 90% of GDP, and Tropical Cyclone Pam battered Vanuatu, costing 64% of Vanuatu’s GDP. Last year Bangladesh suffered the worst flooding in a century covering one third of the country and affecting 11 million people, and in 2007 and 2009 Tropical Cyclones Sidr and Aila devastated Bangladesh. High coastal tides have reached deep inland in the Seychelles, threatening its economic livelihood.

Warmer seas have made tropical storms and coastal flooding more destructive than before, and that is before we consider the human costs of lost lives, homes, roofs, jobs and livelihoods. The trauma of monumental disasters cost lives long after the disaster passes.

We choose to be captains of our fate. We are endeavouring to waterproof our livelihoods and societies. But to do so will cost more than 100% of our GDP. We cannot do so overnight and yet each day takes us closer to the next hurricane, cyclone or monsoon. Climate change is relentless for us.

It is not only unjust that we should pay the costs of loss and damage from a climate change we did not cause, this very iniquity is a force behind climate change. As long as those who profit from the production of greenhouse gases are not those who suffer its most extreme consequences, climate change will accelerate. Soon the whole world will be affected, but soon it will be too late. Read More