Delegations from the 14 Caribbean nations entered the “multilateral room” at 12:30 pm at the LA Convention Center where the Summit of the Americas is taking place.

VP Kamala Harris was already seated at the center of the room at a U-shaped table and began welcoming Caribbean leaders.

She said the US partnership with CARICOM is “key to our shared prosperity and security.”

“Today, our main focus will be the climate crisis, which of course is an existential crisis for our entire planet,” Kamala Harris said. The Caribbean “is on the frontlines of this crisis.”

She announced the launch of her initiative, calling it the “United States government’s primary mechanism for addressing energy security as a climate crisis in this region.”

VP Kamala Harris Vice President of the United States poses for a photo with the head delegates during the 9th Summit of the Americas at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA.(Ben Solomon/U.S. Department of State)

Through this partnership, Harris promised for the US to “support energy, infrastructure, and climate resilience at every stage of development, from beginning to end.” She said the US will provide technical assistance, bring in investors and improve access to development financing to “make these projects a reality.”

CARICOM Secretary-General Dr. Carla Barnett gave a few remarks, noting that the pandemic has “had a disproportionate impact on the already overwhelmed socioeconomic fabric of the Caribbean.”

Barnett said they see “energy security is a critical matter” as they transition energy systems to more modern and reliable supplies.

Related: Summit of the Americas: Kamala Harris says “prosperity and stability of our neighbors” benefit America

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