Climate Change Data and Risk Assessment Methodologies for the Caribbean

Apr 2014
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Environmental Safeguards Unit (ESG) initiated this study to address the need to better understand how to assess and address climate change related risks in IDB funded projects. The Caribbean region is uniquely sensitive to natural hazards such as hurricanes, extreme precipitation events, and coastal storm surges due to the relatively small size and low elevations of the island nations that make up the region. Climate change is expected to exacerbate the threat of natural hazards. As a result of climate change, average temperatures and sea levels are rising, precipitation patterns might change, and hurricanes could intensify. Many of these changes are already occurring, and are projected to become more severe in the future. The purpose of this paper is to: (1) propose a step-wise process to assess climate change risks to IDB projects and (2) identify tools and methodologies to support the risk assessment process specific to the Caribbean region.