Small Island States make impassioned plea at Biden’s Climate Summit

April 22, 2021
  • Climate
  • Press Release

Washington DC – 22 April 2021 – Small Island Developing States (SIDS) made a strong call for scaled up climate financing at the Leaders’ Climate Summit hosted by the United States today. 

“The debt of small states has risen to unsustainable levels, because of repeated borrowings to rebuild and recover from natural disasters, arising from climate change” said Prime Minister Browne. 

He further stressed that the current mechanisms to address the debt crisis were inadequate “… because of the false criterion, of middle and high per capita income, which ignores the huge vulnerabilities that small states face.”

Prime Minister Browne was joined by two other SIDS Leaders at the Summit, Prime Minister David Kabua of the Republic of Marshall Islands and Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica. Only 40 world leaders were invited to take part by President Biden. 

“The world committed to 100bn per year to support climate action in developing countries. It is critical that this commitment not only be honoured, but that the ambition be increased, and major emitters should contribute more to its financing” said Prime Minister Holness. “Significant hurdles remain in accessing climate finance and the pace of implementation does not reflect the urgency of the climate crisis.”

He called specifically for the establishment of a “Global Disaster Fund” to help SIDS recover from and manage disasters as well as the development of innovative risk informed financing, including the mainstreaming of debt for climate swaps.

“We congratulate the US on their much improved 2030 climate target and commitment toward increased climate financing. However it is still not yet enough to give our islands a fighting chance for a 1.5C world.” PM Browne noted in response to President Biden’s climate announcements.

“As the World Meteorological Organisation’s “State of Global Climate 2020” report has made abundantly clear, the clock is quickly running out for all large emitters to step up as needed.”


Jabal Hassanali & Tashwa James, AOSIS Media, email: