Joe Biden Taps Jamaica’s Prime Minister for Leaders Climate Summit

Sheri-Kae McLeod, CNW Reporter

Jamaica PM Andrew Holness

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness is on the list of 40 world leaders that have been invited to a special climate summit that will be hosted by US President, Joe Biden.

The Leaders Summit on Climate will take place on April 22 and 23. The virtual Leaders Summit will be live-streamed for public viewing.

A statement from the White House said the summit will bring together the leaders of 17 countries responsible for approximately 80 percent of global emissions and global GDP.

The US President also invited the heads of other countries that are demonstrating strong climate leadership, are especially vulnerable to climate impacts, or are charting innovative pathways to a net-zero economy.

Prime Minister Holness and the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne are the only two Caribbean leaders that were invited to participate in the event.

Holness has always been outspoken on the impact of climate change on small countries in the Caribbean. In recent years, he has emerged as one of the leading voices on the issue, being invited to several international conferences and meetings to voice his concerns.

In 2020, while delivering a keynote address at the University of Missouri’s ‘Democracy, Youth Leadership and the Future of our World’ conference, Holness said the Caribbean was at risk economically because of the inequity linked to climate change.

“Climate change is such a highly political issue, but if you drill down into it, what does it mean? It really calls for a global sense of equity,” Holness charged, adding that there could be migrations from the Caribbean because of the brutal effects of disasters resulting from climate change.

Prime Minister Holness also called on leaders of developed countries to fulfill their commitments for climate financing agreed to at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) in 2015. The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change. Former US President Donald Trump had withdrawn from the agreement in 2020, but after being sworn-in, President Biden rejoined the accord.

Other world leaders invited to the summit include Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

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