Information Officer I (Ag.)
Department of Information and Public Relations
The subject of climate adaptation and mitigation financing best practices was discussed when Organization of Eastern Caribbean States’ Ambassador Mrs. Diann Black-Layne met with Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie earlier this week.
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley was also present at the meeting held on Monday, July 15.
Mrs. Black-Layne is also the Climate Change Negotiator for the OECS and sits on the board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the principal means for financing the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The convention provides the global framework to respond to the impacts of climate change and was created to help developing countries and Small Island States to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Ambassador Black-Layne’s consultative meetings were said to be an important next step in searching for viable alternatives to financing the Territory’s response to climate change as the Virgin Islands and other UK Overseas Territories cannot access financing from international entities such as the climate fund.
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie said, “The Government of the Virgin Islands has had a lot of interesting meetings dealing with the financing of the region in different areas. We have dealt with de-risking, financial services and we have also dealt with climate change. I am glad to have attended the meeting so that we could state our position as well as gain insight on the various areas in a respectful manner moving forward”.
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley added, “Ambassador Black Layne’s visit was instrumental in understanding Antigua and Barbuda’s approach to sustain their efforts to finance their climate adaptation measures.”
Minister Wheatley added, “Both the Virgin Islands and Antigua and Barbuda have led in the establishment of dedicated funds for climate adaptation. We anticipate an ongoing and fruitful collaboration with Antigua and Barbuda, the OECS and the Virgin Islands to learn from each other and refine our respective funds.”
The Premier and Minister Wheatley also identified areas where the Governments can partner, collaborate and support their work and that of the OECS via shared technical expertise, best practices and support of legislative reform.
Photo 1: Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew Fahie, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States’ Ambassador Mrs. Diann Black-Layne, Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Mr. Joseph Smith- Abbott, and Acting Director International Affairs Secretariat, Ms. Najan Christopher.
Photo 2: Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley, Mrs. Black-Layne, and Deputy Secretary Mr. Smith-Abbott
Photo credit: (Provided).