Climate Change Adaptation in the Caribbean Gets a Boost from the United States Government
Climate change and climate variability has led to increased intensity of extreme meteorological events including hurricanes, floods, and droughts and has adversely impacted the lives and livelihoods of Caribbean citizens and threatened the very survival of vulnerable populations and communities.
To address these challenges, the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), launched the Program for Accelerating Climate Change Adaptation in the Caribbean at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados on June 8, 2023.
The four year initiative is part of the United States Government’s continuing support to the region’s efforts to adapt to the impact of climate change. Funded initially with US$1.5 million, this program falls under the U.S. Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030) which was launched last year at the Summit of the Americas by Vice President Harris. The initiative will benefit the 11 Eastern and Southern Caribbean (ESC) countries in USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean’s coverage area – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname.
The PACCAC will support the acceleration of climate action through increased information and understanding of climate responses required to be made by key decision makers, and greater international climate financial flows to ESC countries. Key expected outputs will include: (i) an updated central climate data and information management system; (ii) web-based climate knowledge and information portals; (iii) storm surge and climate risk atlas for management of climate change and disaster risks; (iv) increased private sector involvement in climate action; and (v) increased international climate financial flows to the region.
Addressing attendees to the launch, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, Linda Taglialatela, expressed delight that the United States Government is partnering with the CCCCC, the region’s leading institution for addressing the impacts of climate change. She highlighted the focus on increasing international climate financial flows to the region as a key component of the program.
USAID’s Chief Climate Officer, Gillian Caldwell also addressed the event and underscored the Agency’s commitment to catalyzing $150 billion in public and private sector climate finance by 2030 as part USAID’s ambitious new climate strategy.
Dr. Colin Young, Executive Director of the CCCCC, commended USAID for their continued confidence in working with the organization. Noting that the CCCCC and USAID had worked successfully on previous projects, he committed to ensuring the PACCAC project would be just as successful.