UN Secretary-General heads to the Caribbean to discuss climate change

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, will meet with leaders of the 15 members of Caricom to discuss climate resilience and climate financing.

The Secretary-General addressed the leaders of Caribbean nations at the 40th meeting of Caricom in St. Lucia, two days ago.

Caricom Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said climate change, ocean economy and pollution issues, and climate financing are of great concern to Caricom. Caricom leaders, he said, are looking forward to their discussions with Guterres ahead of the U.N. summit.

LaRocque added Caricom leaders want to “see how we get our views forward on financing for development, resilience building and access to financing.”

In his remarks to the Caricom leaders, Secretary-General Guterres said he wanted to focus on the challenges of climate change, “and other obstacles to sustainable development, including the imperatives of citizen security and building resilience and the importance of access to development finance”.

His address recalled his visit to the Caribbean in 2017, and the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria he had witnessed. While commending Caribbean nations for their having “taken the lead from the frontlines”, he called for leaders of all nations -in government and in the private sector- to  to present plans to cut emissions at the UN’s Climate Action Summit in December.

“Island nations in the Caribbean are fast becoming influential test beds for innovative climate action, such as investing in decentralized renewable energy”, he added. These energy solutions are both clean and renewable, and economically sustainable.

The Secretary-General also commended the region’s efforts to strengthen its climate resilience and build a sustainable Blue Economy, and called for continued climate financing for mitigation and adaptation initiatives.

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