Prime Minister Gaston Browne has written to newly installed US President Joe Biden congratulating him on rejoining the Paris Agreement aimed at reducing global warming.
Writing in his capacity as chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Browne wasted no time in reaching out to Biden to thank him for showing his commitment to tackling climate change.
Rejoining the Paris Accord was one of Biden’s key campaign promises – just one of a slew of eco pledges he’d made that supporters hope will help unravel his predecessor Donald Trump’s disastrous environmental legacy.
Browne told Biden he was delighted by the move – particularly as chair of the coalition of 44 small island and low-lying coastal states that are “most gravely threatened by climate change”, he wrote.
Antigua and Barbuda assumed the AOSIS chairmanship this month; Browne will hold the position on the country’s behalf until December.
In his letter, the Antigua and Barbuda PM reminded Biden that the Caribbean region comprised some of the USA’s closest neighbours.
He thanked the US President for his “foresight and concern”, telling him he looked forward to Biden’s 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,” Browne wrote.
He ended with a warning that the world was already failing to achieve the Paris Accord’s goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
Browne assured Biden of the Alliance’s willingness to work closely with him in jointly addressing what he dubbed the “most dangerous threat” to the planet.
AOSIS describes itself as a “voice for the vulnerable” with a mandate that goes beyond amplifying marginalised voices as it also advocates for member nations’ interests. The body counts negotiating historic global commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions among its achievements.