In a world of rapidly accelerating climate change and global warming, due in large part to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other manmade changes to ecosystems that affect the planet’s ability to effectively absorb and recycle carbon, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as those of the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The factors that make the region vulnerable include its geographic location, limited land area, an abundance of sensitive ecosystems such as forests, mangroves, coral reefs and other natural habitats, high population density in coastal areas, economic dependence on climate-sensitive sectors, and limited access to resources for adaptation and resilience-building.
One key vulnerability of SIDS is their exposure to sea level rise. Many SIDS have low-lying coastal areas, making them highly susceptible to inundation and coastal erosion as sea levels continue to rise.
In its 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projected that over the next three decades, sea level rise in the Caribbean is projected to be, on average, 8 – 10 inches (0.2 – 0.25 metres).