Landmark Report Reveals Larger Extent of Loss and Damage in Caribbean


On the margins of the Bonn Climate Conference (SB60) in Germany, Climate Analytics Caribbean presented the findings of its newly published report, “A review of loss and damage in the Caribbean (1994 to 2024)”, to an audience of regional heads of delegation, key climate change negotiators, and international stakeholders. The launch took place on Tuesday 4th June, 2024.

The report is the first to provide a systematic overview of how Caribbean countries are framing and reporting on loss and damage through a comprehensive review of national documents submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention (UNFCCC) over the last thirty years.

Sasha Jattansingh, the Loss and Damage Expert at Climate Analytics Caribbean, is one of the authors of the report, along with Arunima Sircar, Adelle Thomas, and Olivia Serdeczny.

What emerged from the report is that loss and damage is a broad and complex issue that is narrowly represented on the world stage,” she said. “Generally, loss and damage in the Caribbean is reported as economic costs associated with a climate-related event, mainly hurricanes and floods. Many other climate hazards considered important by SIDS tend to go unreported, especially slow onset events such as drought, sea level rise, sargassum blooms or coral bleaching.”

This pivotal report significantly augments the store of data and analysis specific to loss and damage in the Caribbean, and provides governments with a more holistic evidence base to enable enhanced access to finance for addressing loss and damage.

Despite efforts by Caribbean governments to adapt, loss and damage from climate change is reversing development gains, leaving lasting financial stress, and causing irreparable damage, including the loss of cultural heritage. As the world warms, Caribbean small island developing states – recognized for their international leadership on the issue – are facing escalating climate impacts and spiralling costs. 

From the very beginning of the process of creating an international response to the existential threat of climate change, the issue of loss and damage has been raised by the small island developing states (SIDS),” said Dr. Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics. “It took 31 very long years to get a loss and damage fund adopted at Sharm El Sheik in 2022, seven years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement.”

This new report will help to anchor Loss and Damage in the Caribbean, provide inspiration and insight to others and finally enhance the flow of the resources which vulnerable countries and SIDS desperately needed to deal with the climate change impacts which have exploded across the world.”

Key recommendations for Caribbean SIDS on future loss and damage finance and research priorities include:

  1. Develop and implement a common regional approach for loss and damage reporting.
  • Develop national plans or programmes to address loss and damage.
  • Estimate the funds needed to address loss and damage.
  • Report loss and damage finance needs in Biennial Transparency Reports.
  • Tag and track loss and damage in national plans and budgets.

National reports and regional studies also mostly focus on the direct costs of extreme events, without accounting for the indirect effects of loss and damage,” said Jattansingh. “These include increasing debt burdens and drops in economic output. Also absent from loss and damage assessments in the region are ‘activity costs,’ including reconstruction or rehabilitation.”

Small island developing states are among the most vulnerable to loss and damage impacts, and we must lead on developing a robust evidence base, as well as developing a standard definition of loss and damage. This will help develop appropriate methodology for assessing the loss and damage that matters to us as SIDS, and help us better value elements such as loss of cultural identity. We are the ones facing loss and damage, and this report will move the dial forward to ensure our needs are properly understood and finance flows to those who need it most.”

View the A review of loss and damage in the Caribbean (1994 to 2024) Report here.

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