Antigua and Barbuda: PM of Antigua and Barbuda- Gaston Browne urges world leaders to design new financial instruments to combat the rising levels of debts caused by natural disasters arising from climate change.
The Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister stated that the harmful effects of Climate Change are developing. The cost of mitigation and recovery is being counted in human lives and livelihoods, noting that the coronavirus pandemic exacerbates the condition. He pointed out that the situation is now dire, making a recommendation to the enormous hit being suffered by tourism-dependent nations. “We are teetering on the edge of despair,” he stated.
“A permanent solution to the imminent debt crisis is compelling and necessary. This needs action to design new and innovative financial instruments and to implement debt relief, including debt cancellation, debt suspension, debt rescheduling, debt restructuring and debt-for-climate swaps,” were some of the recommendations of the Prime Minister, the Hon. While addressing the Leaders Summit on Climate the previous day, Gaston Browne conducted by US President Joseph Biden.
Furthermore, He stated that even the inadequate instruments are discarded, because of the false criterion, of middle and high per capita income, which disregards the huge vulnerabilities that small states face. Prime Minister Browne, therefore, called on the foundations for more determining criteria of small size, source restrictions and openness, be taken fully into account for concessional financing.
“Over the years, the debt of small states has surged to unsustainable levels because of repeated borrowings to rebuild and recuperate from continuous debilitation by natural disasters arising from climate change. Mechanisms, introduced by International Financial Institutions (IFIs), for addressing the looming debt crisis are insufficient,” Prime Minister Browne stated.
“Repayment of official debt by small states, including to the Paris Club, is near improbable in the prevailing parlous circumstances. Worsening Climate conditions are uprooting workers from earlier productive sectors and causing a crisis of emigration and refugees. This, too, requirement be reversed in the global interest,” stated the Prime Minister.
The Antigua and Barbuda leader also declared that vulnerable states need urgent access to coronavirus vaccines, which should be prioritized based on vulnerability, and urgent action must be taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions if they are to proceed to be viable markets and remain likely governments that uphold human-rights and the rule of law.
He stated that as leaders, they should recognize the interconnectedness of human-civilization, and there is the need to respect and protect our shared humanity. “Small states are also economic markets, providing revenues and employment for larger and richer nations. Every major country benefits perennially from trade surpluses with small states,” he stated.
He also stated that to achieve climate justice and provide an economic condition that discourages refugees, vulnerable states require a programmed of debt forgiveness and debt rescheduling, concessional financing that takes account of vulnerabilities and, financing to compensate for damage to help reconstruct our economies and funding to acquire decarbonized technologies to support in building resilience.
Antigua and Barbuda’s delegation to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate comprises Health & Environment Minister-Sir Molwyn Joseph, Foreign Affairs Minister-E. P. Chet Greene and Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United-States, Ronald Sanders.
The Climate Summit continues for two days and is being attended by over forty leaders, including the Presidents of China, France, Germany and Russia, Prime Ministers of Britain, Canada & Australia and leaders of the World Bank, the IMF and the European-Union.
“We hope that a spirit of collaboration will emerge from this gathering of 40 that can be taken to Glasgow to encourage an ambitious programme of action to accomplish net-zero by 2050,” Prime Minister Browne decided.