Hurricane Irma exposes Trump’s wilful blindness on climate change


President Trump’s reckless attitude to climate change is being shown to be folly as Hurricane Irma tears through Miami, Christian Aid says. Last year a Christian Aid report showed that Miami tops the list of most vulnerable cities to climate change induced coastal flooding.

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, said: “We’re starting to see what happens when climate breakdown occurs on a global scale. As well as Hurricane Irma we currently have two other hurricanes in the west Atlantic, Jose and Katia, not to mention the destruction from Hurricane Harvey in Texas. While we're seeing the richest country on earth struggling to cope with the devastation of extreme weather, don't forget the 40 million people affected by floods in South Asia, an area without anywhere near the same infrastructure or resources to cope.

“Trump’s promise to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and undoing President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is the exact opposite of what we need to see in the face of this lethal reality.

“As seas get warmer, providing more energy to tropical storms, the people of Florida and the Caribbean will continue to suffer until leaders like Trump start to reduce the carbon emissions which drive climate change.”

The city of Miami is particularly vulnerable with more than $3.5 trillion of assets at risk from flooding by 2070. In its report Act Now or Pay Later: Protecting a billion people in climate-threatened coastal cities, the charity showed American cities would face the financial brunt of coastal flooding by 2070 with New York coming third with $2.1 trillion. In between them was Guangzhou in China at $3.4 trillion and India’s Kolkata was fourth at $2 trillion.

Mr Adow said: “The cost of the reckless climate policies espoused by Donald Trump will be paid in the lives of people living in these places and the trillions of dollars lost in places like Miami and New York, not to mention the economic disruption and the money needed to rebuild cities suffering from floods and storm damage.

“That is why if we don’t invest now in low carbon infrastructure to decarbonise our economies we will end up paying for it later.”

Read the report here: www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/act-now-pay-later-climate-report-may-2016.pdf

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