Understanding Climate Risks & Adaptation Strategies in the Caribbean
Today, natural hazards already present a significant risk to people and economies in the Caribbean. Climate change has the potential to worsen these risks and, thus, is one of the most serious threats to the development prospects of Caribbean states. A recent study completed by the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) working group found that the annual expected loss caused by inland flooding in Guyana might increase from 12 to 19 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) in a high climate change scenario.
Climate adaptation is thus an urgent priority for the custodians of national and local economies, such as finance ministers and mayors. Such decision-makers ask: What is the potential climate-related loss to our economies and societies over the coming decades? How much of that loss can we avert, with what measures? What investment will be required to fund those measures – and will the benefits of that investment outweigh the costs?
CCRIF has recently launched a project to produce a quantitative knowledge base for key climate change risks and adaptation strategies for decision-making across the region, building on and contributing to the Review of the Economics of Climate Change (RECC) process. The project forms part of the wider CCRIF Technical Assistance Programme and is based on methodology created by the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) which is described in the publication, Shaping Climate Resilient Development - a framework for decision-making. It will be completed by CCRIF in collaboration with a number of partners, including UN-ECLAC and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs).
Understanding the methodology
The methodology we are leveraging aims to provide country and regional decision-makers with a systematic way of answering these questions. Focusing specifically on the economic aspects of adaptation, it outlines a fact-based risk management approach that national and local leaders can use to understand the impact of climate on their economies – and identify actions to minimize that impact at the lowest cost to society.