What's happening in the Caribbean

Airports At Risk As Effects Of Climate Change Draw Closer, The Gleaner, 23 April 2018
With the issue of climate change taking sharp focus on the global stage, at least one local expert is sounding an ominous warning that Jamaica’s airports and others in the Caribbean could be at risk due to rising sea levels.

Climate change may scuttle Caribbean’s post-hurricane plans for a renewable energy boom, The Conversation, 20 April 2018
Rising seas, harsher weather, rainier days. The impacts of climate change make it harder for Caribbean countries to plan their transition toward renewable energy sources.

Caribbean Eyes Untapped Potential of World’s Largest Climate Fund, Caribbean 360, 13 April 2018
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) also known as the 5Cs, is looking for ways to boost the region’s access to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

 

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 August 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

 

Featuring

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

IPCC report on oceans and ice workshop, Belize

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Climate Analytics, and Charles and Associates held a workshop in Belize City, Belize, on 29-30 July 2019 to review the draft IPCC Special Report on Oceans and the Cryosphere (SROCC). A total of 17 participants attended, including representatives from eight Caribbean SIDS and from the University of the West Indies (UWI), reviewing the report and discussing pertinent issues for the region. Participants stressed the importance of the meeting for strengthening coordination among Caribbean SIDS on IPCC matters as well as the need to support regional scientists to become IPCC authors. Participants also discussed lessons learned from the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report.

Learn more about the workshops organised under IMPACT.

 

Adaptation plans, projects and databases

During the inception phase of IMPACT, our stakeholders identified a need for a consolidated database of adaptation actions that have 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.

There is a well-established network of physical and impacts scientists in the Caribbean, however it is informal. Additionally, there is no such network and limited awareness of researchers from the social sciences conducting research in the region. There is also limited awareness of the research being done in the region. To address this gap, we are developing a database of regional researchers to facilitate collaboration between researchers and policymakers and to publicise regional research. The development of a database that can then be expanded into a central network of all climate change researchers in the region would facilitate collaboration and potentially lead to increased opportunities to apply for funding and work on large scale projects.

 

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

The building blocks for vital climate adaptation in small islands

Improving access to climate finance and increasing absorption of funding opportunities are integral to speeding up Small Island Developing States’ (SIDS) efforts to enhance adaptation and build long-term resilience to climate change. A recent “Writeshop” in Samoa, which brought together Pacific and Caribbean representatives to build on each other's experiences, yielded a number of valuable lessons.  
28 May 2019

Key Messages for Small Island Developing States from the IPCC 1.5°C Special Report

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have been advocating for at least a decade for the establishment of 1.5°C as an upper limit for global average temperature increase - due to their high vulnerability to increased climate impacts. This latest IPCC 1.5°C Special Report provides the scientific assessment that supports the long-established cry of SIDS to limit global temperatures and the risks that threaten these small island nations. Our scientists Dr Adelle Thomas and Dr Carl-Friedrich Schleussner report  
06 December 2018

US report brings warnings for island nations

The United States is already experiencing impacts of climate change across most sectors and regions and it’s likely to get worse, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, published in November 2018. The authoritative report has been written by 300 expert authors from 13 Federal institutions and other agencies, sets out a grim picture of the impacts of climate change while calling for global efforts in mitigation to reduce the many risks to the US.  
03 December 2018

Relevant recent publications

Loss and damage refers to impacts of climate change that occur despite adaptation and mitigation efforts. This brief provides a background on loss and damage, its importance for the Caribbean, tools and methodologies to determine costs of loss and damage, and potential innovative financing mechanisms. The region has seen an increase in the number of recorded weather and climate hazards and resultant impacts on biophysical and human systems. As global temperatures continue to increase, Caribbean SIDS face significant levels of both economic and non-economic loss and damage.  
Caribbean SIDS are among the most heavily indebted per capita developing countries in the world and are also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Public debt significantly restricts capacity and fiscal space to build resilience to climate change and thus undermines debt sustainability and economic growth. Caribbean SIDS are tasked with addressing low and stagnated growth, high public debt and vulnerabilities to climate change impacts. This briefing looks at how debt for climate swaps may provide an avenue for SIDS to address debt challenges while also increasing resilience to climate change.  
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.