Barbados Meeting Analyzes Caribbean Climate Adaptation Study

May 14, 2010

Over the last two days, May 12-13, over 40 representatives from Caribbean and international agencies held a meeting in Barbados to discuss the initial results from a recent investigation into the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) in the Caribbean.

The study, funded by the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) as part of its technical assistance program, was launched in February to enable the development of a fact base for developing sound climate change adaptation strategies in the region.

“Climate change is considered to be the most pervasive and truly global of all issues affecting humanity, posing a serious threat to the environment as well as to economies and societies – the impacts of which are likely to adversely affect sectors such as tourism and agriculture,” said the bulletin. “The focus of this study is on the impact of climate risks and change on a country’s infrastructure (including housing), and tourism and travel, agricultural, industrial and services sectors.

“Since February, a team composed of Caribbean Risk Managers on behalf of CCRIF, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and other regional partners, has been involved in data collection and analysis for a number of countries. McKinsey & Company and Swiss Re provided analytical support.

The workshop, held at the Caribbean Development Bank, provided an introduction to the Economics of Climate Adaptation approach and its application in the Caribbean. It focused on “sharing the findings of the study, examining the key insights and results for wind, sea level rise/coastal flooding, inland flooding and salinization of groundwater.”

The final conclusions will “include a risk baseline which will provide transparency about current and future expected losses from climate risks under three climate change scenarios; and assessment of adaptation measures – identification of feasible and applicable measures to adapt to the expected risks based on quantitative analysis of total cost and expected benefits of risk mitigation and transfer measures.

“The results of the study will assist decision makers throughout the Caribbean region in defining and developing sound adaptation strategies and business cases which can be incorporated into national development plans.”

The bulletin also noted that the “recent Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen reconfirmed the commitment to provide funding and technical assistance for climate adaptation to developing countries. The ECA study will help Caribbean leaders develop programs that will be strong candidates for adaptation assistance.”

Source: Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility

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