Prime Minister Gaston Browne intends to make “a robust contribution on behalf of all CARICOM countries” when he participates in the Summit Meeting on Climate organized by US President, Joseph Biden, he said in a statement on Monday.
Browne is one of two Caribbean leaders invited by President Biden to the April 22-23 virtual Summit of 40 Heads of Government from around the world. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness is the other Caribbean invitee.
President Biden said he was inviting the leaders of the world’s major economies as well as “heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership and are especially vulnerable to climate impacts”.
Browne welcomed the invitation to participate in the Summit, to make the case for small states everywhere.
The Antigua and Barbuda leader said that before the event, he intends to consult with CARICOM Heads of Government and to work closely with Prime Minister Holness “to present a strong and compelling Caribbean position” for climate justice.
Earlier in the day, Browne told a Meeting of Heads of State and Government on the International Debt Architecture and Liquidity that Caribbean states are the least contributors to the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, yet they are its greatest casualties.
At the meeting, which was co-hosted by Holness and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister Browne argued that small island states “are facing an unprecedented triple-faceted challenge: coping with extraordinary public health demands from the pandemic; managing the social and development impacts of its economic devastation, and preparing for the enlarging effects of climate change”.
Against this background, Browne laid out proposals to “re-design the international debt architecture and to build a bridge to recovery that works to benefit the world”, including debt relief.