12:40 P.M. PDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everyone.  I — it is good to see all of you again.  We met virtually just a few weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to the conversation that we will have — a continuing conversation about the work we will do together, our partnership, and the commitments that we are prepared to make with each other around the issues that challenge us, but also the opportunities that are presented.
As neighbors in the Western Hemisphere, the United States shares common bonds and interests with Caribbean nations.  As I said when we convened six weeks ago, our partnership 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, and the Caribbean is on the front line of this crisis.
In our last meeting, we discussed your priorities as it relates to this issue and many others.  And I indicated that the United States would look into these issues and work with you as we seek to resolve the challenges that each of our nations are presented with.  And I committed that we would develop a plan.
Today, I’m pleased to announce the launch of the United States-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis, also known as PACC — P-A-C-C — 2030.  PACC 2030 is the United States government’s primary mechanism for addressing energy security and the climate crisis in this region.
Through this partnership, we will support energy infrastructure and climate resilience projects at every stage of development, from beginning to end, in four particular ways.
First, we will work with you to identify new clean energy projects.
Second, we will provide technical assistance to make sure these projects are viable and appealing not only to you, but to investors.  We will bring them — investors — to the Caribbean on, essentially, roadshows to showcase the projects.
And fourth and finally, we will improve access — and importantly — we will improve access to development financing, which will make these projects a reality.  We will engage with the private sector at every stage of this work because, of course, their involvement is essential to making this productive and meaningful.
When we accelerate the transition to clean energy, I think we all believe that we unlock great economic opportunities for the entire region.
When we work together to address this urgent threat, it benefits the people of the United States and the people of the Caribbean.  And all of us, of course, benefit by reducing emissions.
In conclusion, strengthening the U.S.-Caribbean relationship is a priority for me.
And regarding the climate crisis, it is one of our highest priorities.  But there are other issues that are also very important that we can and must address together.
I want to thank all of the leaders for being here.  Again, welcome to Los Angeles, to California.  And I look forward to a meaningful conversation and a productive conversation — meaning that out of our conversations thus far, we have actually taken action.  And I look forward to continuing to do just that.
And with that, I now invite Dr. Carla Barnett, the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, also known as CARICOM, to share a few words.
END                 12:44 P.M. PDT

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