Caribbean Amongst First to be Affected by Climate Change

Officer-In-Charge of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Sub-regional Headquarters for the Caribbean, Mr. Hirohito Toda said,” owing to the geographic characteristics and small economic size of the countries of the Caribbean, the region will be among the first to be affected.”

Mr. Toda added, “since more than half of the population on Caribbean islands lives near the coast, increase in temperature, change in precipitation and rise in sea level due to human activities, will not only lead to loss of land but to lowered prospects for economic growth as well as quality of life for its people.”

High Commissioner for the United Kingdom, Mr. Arthur Snell, commended ECLAC on their efforts in organizing the research on the issue of climate change, noting that the finding of the national studies will drive regional awareness and resilience building, and assist decision makers in targeting their preventative and mitigating efforts.

“Measures which are premature, or not cost effective, risk a trade off with growth by diverting resources from more productive uses.  It is important to include a cost-benefit analysis, critical part of this report and consider the uncertainties before decisions are made,” Mr. Snell said.

ECLAC forecasts that a change to and a control against the impact of climate change could cost the region approximately 2 – 3 % of its annual GDP, compared to the cost of inaction which is estimated at 5% of GDP.

Representatives of ECLAC stressed the need for Caribbean countries to take urgent action by employing energy efficiency measures, improving management of natural resources, and implementing financing mechanisms that support sustainable adaptive actions.  ECLAC Representatives added that it calls for a sub-regional adaptation response and the strengthening of institutional frameworks for responding to climate change.

This information is the release of a 2 year of research on the potential impact of climate change.

The research was conducted by the Caribbean Community Climate change Centre (CCCCC) in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom.



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