Forum tackles climate change

A workshop to help develop a national climate change policy is being held in Cayman this week to discuss a draft document, or Green Paper, on climate change.

Cayman’s National Climate Change Committee is hosting the forum, which runs today (Thursday, 2 December) and Friday, 3 December.

The Green Paper looks at the potential implications of climate change for the Cayman Islands’ economic, social and environmental sectors, and also seeks to highlight how Cayman can curb greenhouse gas emissions.

It also identifies how mitigation measures can be integrated into existing plans, and it takes into consideration cost-effective methods in achieving national adaptation and mitigation goals.

Organisers hope discussions will pave the way to the formulation of a draft policy that would be submitted to Cabinet early next year.

In an introduction to the Green Paper, the chairwoman of the National Climate Change Committee, Gina Ebanks-Petrie, said the document is expected “to provide the basis on which action plans to accompany the policy will be developed … and will set the stage for further strategic planning toward a lower carbon future.”

She said much work still needs to be done to develop a climate change policy that is “consistent with national development goals and shared priorities, while recognising critical areas where a departure from the status quo will be required to safeguard the survival and continued prosperity 
of these Islands”.

The committee points out in the Green Paper that although Caribbean countries contribute less than 0.1 per cent to global greenhouse gas emissions, they will be among the earliest and most adversely affected by climate change because of their small size, relative isolation, concentration of communities and infrastructure in coastal areas, narrow economic base, dependence on natural resources, susceptibility to external shocks and limited financial, technical and institutional capacity.

“Exposure to current weather-related hazards and other climate variability compound these vulnerabilities …,” according to the document.

Small island nations are already seeing heavier rainfall and more frequent flooding of settlements, resulting in health concerns, as well as longer dry spells that are bringing more frequent droughts affecting water resources needed for agriculture and consumption.

Statistics for Cayman over show that the lowest annual rainfall total recorded was 35.61 inches in 1997 and the highest 84.5 inches in 1979. Since 1979, there has been a decrease in the annual amount of rainfall by approximately 0.04 inches.

The report states that while the Earth has warmed on average by 0.74°C (ranging from 0.56°C to 0.92°C) over the last 100 years, the warming in the Caribbean of 2°C over the same period has been well above this global mean temperature. Generally, wetter winter conditions have prevailed in the Northern Caribbean, which includes the Cayman Islands, compared to the southern and eastern Caribbean.


  1. I, for one, am sick of hearing the hoopla about climate change. ‘The sky is not falling.’ It is a natural process, although I do agree we could do better at cleaning up our emissions. If someone would tackle the issue of garbage floating just a little off shore of the island that would make more sense. Not a very presentable picture to tourists who take excursions. UGH! You cannot boast of Cayman’s beautiful waters and then see that. Please work on it.

  2. Yes, yes hoopla indeed. Climate change is probably some conspiracy of European socialists or something.
    Given a slight chance I might be wrong about that, I’m thinking that we might want to hedge our bets and take this threat seriously (being one of the lowest lying nations on earth and frequently threatened by rising water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico causing hurricanes).
    Given our abundant sunshine, our moderately good wind resources and our highly concentrated population I’d be interested to know what our contribution per capita is to CO2 emissions. My guess is that we’re not doing too great. It’s going to be hard for us to persuade our North American neighbors to do their part if we don’t show some leadership first.

  3. Oh my goodness!!

    Are you kidding me?!

    So – it has happened.

    "Babylon" has finally made its way to my beloved island in the sun. Our officials have officially drank the Kool-aid.

    People, the actual science surrounding "climate change" DOES NOT support the very theory of the sham that is "climate change"!!

    (I have done the research – do it for yourself. Regardless – the majority will undoubtedly quote headlines of "X percentage of climatologists of the IPCC say blah blah blah".)

    Research beyond the headlines people. Look into the addendum reports and massive reversal of opinions.

    Look up "Climategate" and the "Danish texts" – get an understanding of what is taking place in this world.

    The Earth was warmer hundreds of years ago than it is today! It is a natural process. Furthermore – have any of you heard of … THE SUN??!! (Gasp!)

    (Why do people today put faith and trust in the most corrupt, heinous and despicable entities in this world? Why?)

    Unbelievable – this is a sad, sad day.

    "Climate change" scam = Global taxation = Centralized Global Power


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