Climate change is predicted to increase disaster risk in the Caribbean basin

AAL from tropical cyclone wind for Caribbean and Central American countries, with and without climate change © UNISDR with data from Global Risk Assessment (UNISDR, 2015b)


With climate change, risk doubles in Honduras and increases fivefold in Trinidad and Tobago (see Figure). In contrast, Mexico would actually see a reduction in risk, highlighting that the effects of climate change are not evenly distributed but will affect different countries in different ways.

Given that Caribbean countries are collectively responsible for only a small proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions, the additional AAL of US$1.4 billion raises important questions regarding accountability for risk generation and regarding who should pay for these additional losses.

*Average annual loss (AAL) is the estimated average loss per year over a long time period determined from the probabilistic analysis of the range of loss scenarios relating to different return periods.