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

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

Credit ratings and climate risk: a financial trap for small island states

Small Island States face the alarming prospect that their sovereign credit ratings might be downgraded over time due to climate risks and impacts. This could land them in a type of “financial trap,” leading to challenges in managing national finances, dependence on foreign aid and increasing vulnerabilities to climate change.  
09 May 2018

Authors from vulnerable nations in IPCC reports

Just as the voices of vulnerable nations were critical in including the 1.5°C limit in the Paris Agreement, it is also critical that experts from these states play an active role in authorship of IPCC reports. It's encouraging to see that the composition of the body of experts selected to put together the Special Report on 1.5°C and the Sixth Assessment Report increasingly reflects this.  
07 May 2018

The Suva Expert Dialogue: pushing the conversation on Loss and Damage

The Suva Expert Dialogue 2-3 May in Bonn, and the technical paper it is meant to inform, are important next steps to furthering collective understanding of approaches to address loss and damage, associated finance needs, and sources of support. Here's what to expect from the two-day meeting.  
11 April 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.