It’s been a great pleasure to be at the One Planet Summit, hosted by President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, two years after the historic agreement in the global fight against climate change. I was honoured to join my friend and partner, Prime Minister Keith Mitchell of Grenada, onstage to talk about the Caribbean Climate-Smart Coalition, and wanted to share some of my thoughts from the event with you all.
I’ve lived in the Caribbean for most of my life now, and have never seen anything like the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. How much more destruction is needed to show that the way we treat our planet is having serious, unacceptable consequences.
Three months on, tens of thousands of people continue to be without shelter, power and access to clean drinking water. From Puerto Rico to the BVI and Dominica, this is still very much a relief operation. But we have to start thinking beyond emergency relief and turn our attention to the islands’ long-term recovery and reconstruction. As hurricanes hit more often and with growing intensity in the Caribbean, how can we avoid destruction becoming the norm?