I’m writing from New York, where I have arrived at Climate Week to thump the table for strong, united climate action. Having just gone through one of the strongest hurricanes in history, I’ve seen first-hand the impact climate change is having. Even as the world faces increasingly shocking climate change-related catastrophes, now is our opportunity to get on top of the problem before it’s too late.
Our immediate worry is Hurricane Maria, which is now a Category 3 hurricane and looks to be moving along a very similar trajectory to Hurricane Irma – it could be Category 4 by the time it arrives in the British Virgin Islands. The people of the BVI and Caribbean, who have been absolutely devastated by Irma, are now bracing themselves for another terrible hurricane.
Our team are doing everything we can to help people on the ground to prepare, and aid efforts are continuing. The spirit of the British Virgin Islands is as strong as ever and the support from people around the world is incredible. However, there could be even more catastrophic damage for people who have already lost their homes and their livelihoods.
These hurricanes are causing unimaginable destruction; in the BVI infrastructure has collapsed, but we are working hard with some incredible partners, from the Royal Marines to aid agencies, the Puerto Rican authorities to the local BVIslanders, to help get the islands back on their feet.
My thoughts are turning to working with others to help create a long-term Marshall Plan for the BVI, and for the Caribbean to reconstructed and rejuvenated with clean energy and new jobs. However, as they prepare for another hurricane, the BVI’s people need the world's attention now.
That’s why Virgin Unite, Unite BVI and Virgin Limited Edition have launched the BVI Community Support Appeal to raise vital funds to help those devastated by the hurricane. This appeal is not for Necker Island or Moskito Island – it is about helping the local communities of the British Virgin Islands with basic survival and recovery. Thanks for all of your support.