Govt urged to get climate ready

Barbados and other Caribbean countries have been given a stark warning that they stand to suffer greater economic loss if they do not take steps to become more resilient to changing global weather patterns.

The caution came from the principal of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, Dr David Farrell, at last Thursday’s launch of the Weather and Climate Ready Nation programme for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, which aims to improve early warning and forecasting systems.

Dr David Farrell

“We have seen in various parts of the Caribbean that we have lost significant amounts of resources and finance over two hours, over three hours, over four hours. We can reduce the GDP [Gross Domestic Product] of countries, or lose parts of the GDP of countries up to 200 per cent, if we go all the way back to Ivan in 2004,” he said.

Addressing the issue of loss suffered during storms, Dr Farrell referred to a 2012 Standard & Poor’s statement on Jamaica which cited, among other factors for a downgrade, the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

He said the statement did not only apply to Jamaica, but serves as a warning to every Caribbean country that is exposed to tropical storms, that they can be downgraded based on their weather and climate readiness.

“Sir George Alleyne made a statement in 2015 that a lot of the losses that we see in the region are not about economic mismanagement, they are losses associated with weather and climate events. And, therefore, becoming weather and climate ready becomes an extremely important aspect of our society.

“If we go and look at the numbers, in terms of the World Bank figures for 1979 to 2005 which indicated aggregate losses per year due to tropical storms can range from US$0.6 billion to US$16.6 billion per year, it puts things into perspective in terms of being weather and climate ready,” he said.

Dr Farrell warned that countries could lose up to 11 per cent of GDP by 2018 if they don’t take steps to become more climate ready.

“I think that these resonate with decision-makers in terms of the amount of money that is lost. How many hospitals can we build with $16 billion? How many schools can we build with $16 billion? How much infrastructure can we update with $16 billion, even with $0.6 billion? It is a significant amount of money and it is the kind of money that keeps many of the countries in the region in a perpetual state of borrowing,” he stated.

The newly-launched Weather and Climate Ready Nations programme is expected to allow participating countries to improve planning, policy development and decision-making related to storm surge and coastal inundations, high winds, flash flooding and landslides.

4 Responses to Govt urged to get climate ready

  1. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner March 2, 2017 at 11:05 am

    With regards to Barbados and the clown politicians that have govern it past present or future everything is good nothing to worry about,these people too damm backwards to see ahead.They are a reactionary bunch who only like to fuss and act after fact not before definitely not proactive.

  2. jrsmith March 2, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Climate change is man made , the cure proper upgrading of our infrastructure , which wasn’t touched for the past 3 decades but as the new (US) president said , if you are putting your country in debt, the government of the day must make sure the country infrastructure is good and solid…….
    Look where we are in barbados after 2 terms of the Democrats ..
    Bad shore lines…..
    Sewage in the streets every where..
    Massive shortage of water…
    No storm drainage infrastructure..
    Using the rain fall as and excuse , but still cannot or not knowing how to harvest the rain when it comes , flooding the place……
    Our roads with pot holes every where , no proper road manage which the word management is soothing which is very alien to Barbados…………………………………………………………………
    Climate change is a politicians excuse in barbados when it suits them, we are living in one of the worlds most healthy climate
    because we were never given the chance to mess up the atmosphere with industrialization. but is drawn into making silly comments for the large countries…………..

  3. jrsmith March 2, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    He is right, but his first step is to get our non productive politicians to stop using the man made , climate change issue as they cover and excuse as the diversion from the real problems, which is destroying our countries…….
    The real problems , the neglect of our infrastructure over the past 3 to 4 decades …..
    The new president of the big old (US) said if your government is driving the country into debt , they must make sue the infrastructure be good and very sound………………………..

    Look where we are at in Barbados after 2 terms of the (Democrats)..
    Very bad shore line , blame that on climate change….
    Sewage in the streets every where …
    Schools children running out of class rooms, from horrible dirty smells..
    Massive shortage of water, which is blamed on the rain ,not falling, but when the rain comes , no technology to harvest the said , but big flooding…
    No storm drain technology…..which keeps putting our people at financial risk because of they home being flooded………
    Our roads with dangerous pot holes , which may be blamed on some serious fatal accidents…..
    Our roads having no proper management which the word is very alien to this government ……..

    Climate change ,is our politicians excuse in barbados and lots of other countries around the world with bad economies some a lot worst than Barbados………
    We in barbados and the region ,is living in one of the worlds most healthiest climates , because we were never given the chance to mess up the atmosphere by industrialization , but is always using silly remarks to cover the large countries……..

  4. Jennifer March 2, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I smell a RAT with this David Farrell, there is something he is not saying. Could it be that the officials continue to monitor kickem Jenny which is rising. Or could it be the large coronal hole in the sun which is affecting the Jet stream and causing these high winds and high tides we are recently experiencing. Volcanoes all over awaking with the most recent as Mt Etna in Italy, not to mention the tons of earthquakes happening world wide. Please come clean and honest. Something is coming isn’t it?????????????????


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