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. Debt for climate swaps may provide an avenue for SIDS to address debt challenges while also increasing resilience to climate change.
- In debt for climate swaps, bilateral and multilateral debt relief could enable developing countries, including SIDS, to reduce their external debt while investing the liberated funds in national climate adaptation and mitigation programmes.
- Due to SIDS’ internationally recognised particular vulnerabilities to climate change, debt for climate swaps could in principle help to lift Caribbean SIDS and their special circumstances in the focus of the international debt relief debate.
- Debt for climate swaps belong to so-called alternative or innovative sources of financing for climate adaptation or development beyond existing bilateral and multilateral sources. Swaps have the potential to serve as an innovative instrument for mobilizing financing to tackle several of Caribbean States’ challenges, in particular insufficient climate adaptation finance and debt sustainability.
- There is existing experience with debt for nature swaps in the Caribbean, with Jamaica, Haiti, Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda being involved in negotiating swaps, with various levels of success. The Commonwealth Secretariat, World Bank and ECLAC have also explored the potential of debt for climate swaps in the region.
- Key elements of success for debt for climate swaps include high-level political support, whole-of-government support from the debtor’s government and anchoring adaptation or mitigation programmes in pledges outlined in national development plans, NAPs, NDCs and plans for securing low-carbon climate resilient economies.
- A strong starting point for debt for climate negotiations would be for Caribbean nations to consider a regionally crafted programme, with broad stakeholder engagement in the definition of clear rules and goals for adaptation targets and eligible projects.
Defining a Regional Goal on Adaptation for the Caribbean
While the Global Goal on Adaptation provides a collective goal for adapting to climate change, adaptation is often a context specific and localised process. This paper proposes a Regional Goal on Adaptation for the Caribbean based on priorities relevant for Caribbean small island developing states.
Unabated: the Carbon Capture and Storage 86 billion tonne carbon bomb aimed at derailing a fossil phase out
The climate talks at COP28 have centred around the need for a fossil fuel phase out. Our analysis quantifies the risk posed by restricting a phase out commitment to only ‘unabated’ fossil fuels.
Adaptation constraints in scenarios of socio-economic development
Here, we combine data on documented adaptation from the Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative with national macro indicators and assess future changes in adaptation constraints alongside the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, spanning a wide range of future socio-economic development scenarios.
When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak?
The IPCC says peaking before 2025 is a critical step to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. With emissions set to rise in 2023, this leaves limited time to act. To assess if we can meet this milestone, we look at when global emissions might peak, as well as what we can do to get there in time.
Wind and solar benchmarks for a 1.5°C world
This report presents a detailed methodology for determining the amount of wind and solar capacity that is required for a country to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal. While the focus of the report is the method, it includes illustrative benchmarks for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa.
A 1.5°C future is possible: getting fossil fuels out of the Philippine power sector
The Philippines is also one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022. This report sets out what the Philippines government needs to do to get the country’s power sector onto a 1.5˚C compatible emissions pathway, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
State of Climate Action 2023
This report finds that global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are failing across the board, with recent progress made on every indicator – except electric vehicle sales – lagging behind the pace and scale needed to address the climate crisis.
Emissions impossible: Unpacking CSIRO GISERA Beetaloo Middle Arm fossil gas emissions estimates
This report provides an independent evaluation of the CSIRO and GISERA assessments of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the exploitation of the Beetaloo fossil shale gas reserves.
Adjusting 1.5°C climate change mitigation pathways in light of adverse new information
This study uses an integrated assessment model to explore how 1.5°C pathways could adjust in light of new adverse information, such as a reduced 1.5°C carbon budget, or slower-than-expected low-carbon technology deployment.