Irma Diaries puts a face to the impacts of Climate Change

Irma Diaries puts a face to the impacts of Climate Change

OECS Media Statement

Thursday, September 20, 2018 — Brussels, Belgium — The Embassies of the Eastern Caribbean States in Brussels hosted the Author Angela Burnett in the presentation and reading of her book The Irma Diaries on Monday, 17th September 2018. The event was attended by representatives of EU as well as diplomats from the Latin America and the Caribbean.

Angela Burnett, Climate Change Officer of the Irma-devastated British Virgin Islands and author of The Irma Diaries: Compelling Survivor Stories from The Virgin Islands is currently on tour in Europe to draw attention to the frontline impacts of Climate Change and to advocate for global action.  She was compelled to write this book after her experiences surviving Hurricane Irma and listening to the harrowing stories of other survivors in the aftermath.

In her welcome and opening remarks, Mrs. Sharlene Shillingford-McKlmon Charge d’Affaires of the Eastern Caribbean Sates Embassy noted that

“we are trying to raise awareness and create ambassadors of climate change action. With annual hurricanes, Caribbean countries face a permanent build- disaster-rebuild cycle and this is costly.  The key issue for the Caribbean region is debt. The Caribbean remains the most indebted region in the world, with 70% of that debt being disaster related. Many governments have maxed out their ability to borrow for post hurricane infrastructure recovery and rebuild.   

More action needs to be taken by countries who contribute the most to climate change and proposing insurance programs to battered countries cannot alone mitigate the effects of climate change.”

In her own presentation, the Author Angela Burnett, emphasized citizen security issues including the significant impact of post disaster migration creating a new class of “climate refugees”.

“We should not be forced to leave our homes and countries because of climate change,” Burnett emphasized.   

Ms. Burnett’s speaking tour started on Monday 17th September where she earlier spoke at a lunchtime conference hosted by the European Commission. She continues on to UK where she will speak at the London British Virgin Islands Office and will return to Brussels on Thursday 20th September for an IPCC 1.5˚ Press Briefing hosted by CAN Europe and a debate at the Université Saint Louis. She also presents on Friday 21st September at a luncheon talk hosted by the National Centre for Development Cooperation in Brussels.

Ms. Burnett wraps up her European tour in London on 25th September with a lecture and reception hosted by the Centre for Integrated Caribbean Research, Institute of Latin American Studies School of Advanced Study, University of London in collaboration with the British Library.  

 

For more information on Angela Burnett’s speaking tour and book can be found on her website at www.TheIrmaDiaries.com

 

   This story aligns with OECS Strategic Objective No.4: Assure the Security and Well-being of Citizens.

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