Media Release Courtesy Office of the Prime Minister (Antigua and Barbuda)
Thursday, January 21, 2021 — 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, the Honourable Gaston Browne, wrote to President Biden 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 stated,
I present my compliments and, once again, warmly congratulate you on your election as President of the United States of America.
On this historic day, I write in my capacity as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), 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.
The AOSIS is delighted with your decision to recommit the Government of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change 2015 and to integrate climate change into the United States’ foreign policy and national security strategies. We wish to thank you for your foresight and your concern. We look forward to your leadership.
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.
I know you will agree that reducing and eliminating the causes of climate change must remain a priority of each nation’s efforts. We are already failing to limit the global average temperature to a 1.5°C 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.
On behalf of AOSIS, and on my own behalf, Mr. President, I assure you of our readiness and determination to hold hands with you to jointly address this most dangerous threat to our one planet and our one humanity.