What's happening in the Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago 175th country to ratify the Paris Agreement, 22 February 2018

Sea levels to rise 3 feet worldwide by 2300 — and it’s likely to get worse, USA Today, 20 February 2018
Even under a best-case scenario, seas will rise about 3 feet worldwide by the year 2300, scientists announced in a study Tuesday. And ongoing delays in reducing carbon emissions will only cause the oceans to rise more.

What it’s like to run a country that could be destroyed by climate change Vox, 13 February 2018
The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda on the lessons of Hurricane Irma.

As Trump opens more waters for oil exploration, the tiny nation of Belize shows a better way Quarz, 8 January 2018
Belize introduced a moratorium on all new oil exploration in its waters, recognising that protecting coral reefs will be more important to the country, economically, in the long-term.


Spotlight on Small Islands and 1.5°C

While there is a significant body of work focused on climate change and SIDS, there is a lack of literature that focuses specifically on the 1.5⁰C temperature limit and its implications for SIDS. The upcoming IPCC special report on 1.5°C represents an unique opportunity to address this important literature gap and this special issue aims to facilitate a timely and comprehensive collection of new contributions to this matter that will feed into the IPCC 1.5°C report.

A special issue of journal Regional Environmental Change, edited by IMPACT researchers, including our Regional Scientist Dr Adelle Thomas, will gather submissions from a variety of disciplines across both social and natural sciences that address the issue of 1.5⁰C and SIDS.

It will be released in March 2018.


Face to a name

Dr Adelle Thomas
Regional Scientist

I work as the Regional Scientist for the Caribbean for the IMPACT project. As a human-environment geographer, I am interested in the particular vulnerabilities and adaptation potentials for small island developing states and have worked for several years on intersections between climate change adaptation, environmental protection and development. My past experiences in conducting policy-relevant research along with translating scientific information for use in policy and project development are beneficial inachieving IMPACTS goal of strengtheningthe interface between science and policy to enable access to climate finance and implement concrete projects.

Based at the University of The Bahamas, I interact closely with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre to tailor the goals of the project for the region. I believe that maintaining a presence in the Caribbean allows for the development of relationships with policymakers and researchersand identification ofpriority areas that IMPACT can assist in addressing.


Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre

Our partner organisation in the Caribbean Region is the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Through its role as a Centre of Excellence, the CCCCC will support the people of the Caribbean as they address the impact of climate variability and change on all aspects of economic development, through the provision of timely forecasts and analyses of potentially hazardous impacts of both natural and man-induced climatic changes on the environment, and the development of special programmes which create opportunities for sustainable development.

“The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change, working on effective solutions and projects to combat the environmental impacts of climate change. The Centre is pleased to work with Climate Analytics to develop and implement IMPACT as it focuses on strengthening the connections between policy/project development and scientific assessments of climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. As a regional implementing entity for the Green Climate Fund, the Centre is committed to supporting countries in the Caribbean to access funding and implement climate action, another key goal of IMPACT and a significant need for this highly vulnerable region.”
Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer



CCORAL Risk Management Tool

The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation tooL – CCORAL – is an online support system that helps decision makers to see all kinds of activities through a ‘climate’ or ‘climate change’ lens, and to identify actions that minimise climate related loss, take advantage of opportunities and build climate resilient development in their countries.


Project activities

Regional Researchers Database

A well-established network for physical and impacts scientists exists in the region, however it is an informal network. Additionally, there is no such network or awareness of researchers from social sciences that are also conducting important research in the region. There is also limited awareness of research that is being done in the region. We are developing a database of regional researchers to facilitate collaborations between researchers and policymakers and to publicize research being done in the region. Development of a database that can then be expanded into a central network of all climate change researchers in the region would facilitate collaborations and potentially lead to increased opportunities to apply for funding, work on large scale projects, etc.


Adaptation Plans, Projects and Strategies Database

During the inception phase of IMPACT, our stakeholders identified a need for a consolidated database of adaptation that has taken place in the region. Currently this information is fragmented and so there is no clear analysis of what has been done in the region. By taking stock of adaptation plans, projects and strategies in the region, IMPACT researchers are in the process of developing this database, which can be added as a one-time boost to an existing database such as WeAdapt.


Peer-Reviewed Regional Literature Database

Academic databases and search engines often filter results by number of citations which can make it difficult to easily identify regionally relevant work. Having a curated database will make peer-reviewed literature on the region more accessible for use by researchers and policy-makers.
This also links into 5Cs initiative on increasing usage of peer-reviewed science in media reporting using regional publications. Together with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, we are developing a database of relevant literature that increases accessibility and visibility of publications about the region. The database will make it easier to find relevant publications and also increase the profile of research about the region in non-academic and non-policy settings.


Blog Caribbean

Preparing for the Suva Expert Dialogue – getting Loss and Damage right

By now it is clear that climate change is as much an economic problem as it is an environmental one. Rising temperatures slow economic growth and devastating climate-related impacts leave large negative imprints on economic development of developing countries. Most financial instruments that have been proposed in the context of loss and damage do not solve the problems developing countries face.  
26 January 2018

Loss and Damage at COP23 – goals, roadblocks and detours

COP23 was hosted by a small island state, Fiji, and vulnerable countries thought it was high time to address the issue of Loss and Damage head on. The result from the first ‘islands COP’ is that it is obvious we are not driving in the fast lane however the goals are not out of sight either.  
20 November 2017

A year of climate extremes: a case for Loss & Damage at COP23

Climate extremes, many now bearing human fingerprints, are already causing devastating impacts across the globe, and the time is high for Loss and Damage to be considered in concrete and actionable terms in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. But what are the next steps to really move this issue forward, and in particular what needs to be done at the first “Islands COP” in Bonn?  
01 November 2017

Relevant recent publications

Following the string of high intensity tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin in 2017 and the devastating impacts on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), a number of questions have been raised about linkages between these cyclones and climate change. This briefing provides clarity on scientifically-supported connections between existing tropical cyclones and climate change. The briefing also summarises how climate change may affect tropical cyclones at increased global mean temperatures in the future and provides a summary of the observed socio-economic impacts of these extreme events on SIDS.