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Don’t be complacent: climate change will ravage rich and poor alike | Patricia Scotland

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My trip to islands that bore the brunt of Hurricanes Irma and Maria proved one thing: we must think again about how to help those most at risk

• Lady Scotland is secretary general of the Commonwealth

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In Pointe Michel, on the Caribbean island of Dominica, I met a woman sitting in the middle of a pile of rubble. On her right there was a fridge and on her left a ruined mattress – the only recognisable possessions among the jumble of concrete, wood, metal, glass, galvanised iron and everything else that just a few weeks ago used to be her home. She and her family had been spared but they had lost everything when the wrath of Hurricane Maria exploded there, another terrifying manifestation of climate change.

Related: ‘It feels like Dominica is finished’: life amid the ruins left by Hurricane Maria | Janise Elie

Related: Hurricane Maria: the slow road to rebuilding stricken Dominica – in pictures

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