Lula, Barbados PM Mia Mottley talk climate change in Guyana

She has proved a leading figure in the environmental debate worldwide

Published on 29/02/2024 - 11:15 By Pedro Rafael Vilela - Brasília

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Prime Minister of Barbados met in Georgetown, Guyana, Wednesday (Feb. 28) on the sidelines of the 46th Summit of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, Caricom.

“We talked about a number of major issues, like the reform of the global financial system to tackle the climate crisis, and the need for a longer period of financing for low- and middle-income countries,” the president wrote in a post on social media.

Mottley has been one of the most vocal speakers on the international stage in favor of bolder proposals for poor nations to have easier financing and debt forgiveness in the challenge of adapting to the climate change. She is leading the Bridgetown Initiative, a proposal that demands that the most industrialized and developed countries bear the costs and financing needed to tackle climate change in developing countries. In his speech at the end of the summit, President Lula mentioned the initiative, which is endorsed by Brazil.

During their bilateral talks on Wednesday, President Lula and Prime Minister Mottley also discussed a marine research cooperation project between the coasts of Brazil and the Caribbean, as well as the need for a direct air link between northern Brazil and Barbados.

Countries like Barbados—an island of 430 km²—are among the most endangered by the climate changes expected in the coming decades. These shifts could lead to rising sea levels, threatening coastal areas and islands with submergence.

The agenda in the Caribbean

During his stay in Guyana, President Lula also met with the head of government of the neighboring country, Irfaan Ali, and Suriname’s President Chan Santokhi, to discuss issues of trilateral interest, including energy and the integration of physical and digital infrastructure.

From Guyana, on Thursday (29), the Brazilian president should travel to the small Caribbean island country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where is expected to take part in the opening of the 8th summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, or Celac, to be held in Kingstown, the capital, on March 1.

Despite being one of the founding countries of Celac, Brazil’s previous government left the community, made up of 33 nations. Rejoining the bloc was one of President Lula’s first foreign policy measures early in 2023, when he took office for a third term.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Carolina Pimentel

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