by Kendol Morgan
In an early communication immediately after Joseph R Biden was sworn in as President of the United States of America, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, wrote to him expressing delight that the US government will, once again, commit to the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Writing in his capacity as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) for the period, 2021-2022, Prime Minister Browne told President Biden, “On this historic day, we wish to thank you for your foresight and your concern. We look forward to your leadership”. He explained that AOSIS is “a coalition of 44 small island and low-lying coastal developing states that are most gravely threatened by Climate Change – many of us are your close neighbours in the Caribbean”.
Prime Minister Browne said that the Alliance knows that President Biden “will agree that reducing and eliminating the causes of climate change must remain a priority of each nation’s efforts”. He emphasized. “We are already failing to limit the global average temperature to a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase above pre-industrial levels. It is urgent that: (i) the machinery for global financial flows, including through International Financial Institutions, be adjusted to ensure that every country is served in accordance with its needs; and (ii) resources be provided to allow the most vulnerable countries to adapt to the present alarming conditions and to prepare for future negative conditions”.
The AOSIS chair stressed, “It is vital that every nation acts to preserve the planet for future generations; to save the most vulnerable countries from extinction; and to protect the global community from the consequences of enlarged numbers of refugees, economic destruction, public health emergencies, food insecurity and conflict”.
In this connection, Prime Minster Browne assured President Biden of the “readiness and determination of AOSIS to hold hands with him to jointly address this most dangerous threat to our one planet and our one humanity”.