Veteran Hollywood actor Robert De Niro highlighted his concern for the plight of the people of Barbuda at the World Government Summit in Dubai.


Robert De Niro in UAE: Learn from Barbuda on climate change problem


DUBAI – Veteran Hollywood actor Robert De Niro shared his concern for Barbuda, the island nation that was devastated by a hurricane in 2017.

De Niro pledged to help rebuild Barbuda, which remains ruined and largely uninhabitated for the first time in 300 years. The actor has a hotel project under development on the island.

“Today, climate change is a man-made problem, and our eyes confirm the problems we face. We can, and do, have an effect on our brothers and sisters living far outside our own borders,” De Niro told the crowd during the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday.

De Niro also highlighted his concern for the plight of the people of Barbuda, and said: “I feel at home in Barbuda and I want to be part of the solution. This is a place that has virtually no carbon footprint but faces the consequences.”

“What I would like to see is that an island like Barbuda becomes an example for others. The island has been effectively wiped out, but this presents an opportunity to start all over again and rebuild with the help of the people, and with partners like the UAE,” he said.



Following the opening remarks, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, joined the conversation: “We started supporting the Pacific islands in 2010 under the direction of our leadership. The experience we had in the Pacific was amazing, and it showed that we can make a difference. We wanted to ensure that we could not just build capacity, but also leave something lasting behind. After the Pacific, we started working with the Caribbean islands. These projects will be implemented with a holistic perspective to ensure they have the greatest impact.”

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne then provided an honest assessment of the status of his nation, and what he hopes will happen next.

He said: “The situation in Antigua and Barbuda remains dire, and economic activity is non-existent. Moving forward, we will need to rebuild in a more climate-resilient manner. Preparedness will be absolutely critical, as storms are becoming more ferocious and more frequent.”

John M. Silk, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Marshall Islands, also elaborated on how climate change is a grave concern for the people of his nation. He said: “How do we ensure that our children have a home in the future? The issue is one of survival, and we hope that our community can survive climate change. How can we make that happen? The answer is 1.5 degrees.” GAD/Expat Media


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