Saturday, April 21, 2018

Commonwealth Storms and Sunshine

Windsor Castle, UK, where Commonwealth leaders held closed-door meetings on Friday (Picture Credit: Flickr/Richard Hodgson) Click to Enlarge.
The sun came out in London this week for leaders meeting from across the Commonwealth, raising temperatures to a balmy 30C.

It is the largest gathering of heads of government in 2018, covering a diverse range of climate change perspectives, with a majority from vulnerable small islands or the worlds poorest countries.  A report by Christian Aid noted huge inequalities in emissions – and their impacts – between members of the loose coalition.

Vanuatu’s plans to host the summit were dashed by Cyclone Pam in 2015, one of its worst weather disasters in history.  At a side event, foreign minister Ralph Regenvanu called for a “climate damages tax” on fossil fuel producers, backed by UK Labor and Green politicians.

“Climate change is wreaking havoc with Vanuatu’s aspirations for sustainable development,” said Regenvanu.  “We just cannot afford what is happening to our country.”

Disaster capitalism
Also reeling from a category five storm, Hurricane Irma, Barbudan demonstrators demanded accountability of relief funds they said their government had yet to deliver.

The tiny island’s tradition of communal land ownership is under threat, with Robert De Niro among foreign investors hoping to secure a slice of tropical paradise.

Read more at Commonwealth Storms and Sunshine

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