Department of Environment Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie said preparing for climate change now is not only necessary, it will be “far less costly and more effective than future remedial measures.”
Responding to a letter published in the Caymanian Compass last month, Mrs Ebanks-Petrie refuted claims that government was wasting money developing a National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Cayman Islands.
“The department is not using additional government funds for this project. The workshops and consultancy hours necessary for the development of an adaptation strategy are all funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC),” she explained. (The CCCC is funded by Belize, Barbados and Italy, with some projects paid for by the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility).
The DoE Director added that the Cayman Islands has joined other Caribbean UK Overseas Territories in preparing for the effects because “we find the facts and the evidence for climate change, the projected adverse effects, and most importantly the observed trends of local impacts too compelling to ignore.”
This stance is based on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC http://www.ipcc.ch/
). The IPCC is an intergovernmental body comprised of hundreds of scientists, who objectively and transparently assess climate change research and literature, including work that does not necessarily support the global warming hypothesis, Mrs. Ebanks-Petrie said.
“The IPCC has concluded that small island states (SIDS) are especially vulnerable to the projected impacts of climate change. Like many SIDS governments worldwide, the department, its National Climate Change Adaptation Working Group, partner agencies and the CCCC are therefore working to devise a strategy that will reduce the vulnerability of our islands.
“Additionally the strategy will help Cayman address more successfully, and with less cost, the current impacts of extreme weather events to which they are exposed, such as tropical cyclones given our position in the ’hurricane alley’ of the Caribbean,” she stated.
Supporting the development of a climate adaptation strategy, the DoE also produced a position paper on a National Energy Policy, Mrs. Ebanks-Petrie said.