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    Climate Change May Slam the Caribbean

    By Keith R | June 13, 2008

    Topics: Climate Change, Environmental Protection | No Comments »

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    The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Tufts University have just released a report commissioned by the group Environment Defense (EDF) on the potential economic impact of global climate change on the Caribbean. The report comes soon after another by the Andean Community (CAN) on climate change’s economic impact on four Andean nations.

    One of the key conclusions of The Caribbean and Climate Change: The Costs of Inaction is that, unless greenhouse gas emissions are checked globally, climate change will cost the two dozen Caribbean nations and territories by 2025 about US$10.7 billion, or roughly a regional average of 5% of their gross domestic product (GDP), US$21.9 billion by 2050, (10.3% of GDP), US$33.7 billion (15.9%) by 2075 and US$46.2 billion (21.7%) by 2100.

    Even those averages, eye-opening as they may be, do not reflect the horrendous economic impact estimated for some of the individual nations and territories (see chart below). For example, the project impact on Haiti may be 30.5% of GDP by 2025, rising to 123.2% by 2100, 21.3% of GDP in 2025 for Grenada rising to 111.5% by 2100, and 19% in 2025 for the Turks and Caicos, rising to 75.9% by 2100.

    The report compares two possible scenarios — one envisioning rapid stabilization (“optimistic”), the other business-as-usual (“pessimistic”) – and looks at three types of impacts: hurricane damages, loss of tourism revenue, and infrastructure damage due to sea-level rise. [The report’s authors caution that there might be other types of impacts (such as agricultural production?) that may raise the costs still further.] The report argues that the difference in cost estimates between the optimistic and pessimistic scenarios represents “the potential savings from acting in time to prevent the worst economic consequences of climate change.”

    The reports also provides “case studies” — more in-depth analysis — for Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

    Among the key conclusions of the report:

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