Council of Foreign Relations, August 2023
The Caribbean is one of the regions of the world most vulnerable to climate change. Its large coastal populations and exposed location leave it at the mercy of rising sea levels, stronger storms, and worsening drought. Increasing temperatures, meanwhile, threaten its unique biodiversity. Despite their meager contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions, the Caribbean’s thirteen sovereign nations are already bearing the brunt of these climate disruptions, putting many of these tourism-dependent countries deeply in debt and spurring increased migration across the region.
Scientists say that without immediate action, the Caribbean could eventually become nearly uninhabitable. Countries such as Barbados and Dominica have implemented a range of mitigation and adaptation measures, including increasing public spending on resilient infrastructure, and many have set ambitious targets for emissions reductions. But with the region requiring significantly more help to stave off the worst effects, some leaders in particular are pushing for fundamental reforms of global development aid and climate financing.