Assessment of the Economic Impact of Climate Change on CARICOM Countries

Assessment of the Economic Impact of Climate Change on CARICOM Countries

Primary Country: Caribbean
Ecosystem: multiple
Sample Value Estimates: 1999 US$1.4 to $9.0 billion as estimated potential economic impact of climate change on the CARICOM countries. This estimate is for the impacts that could be estimated assuming no adaptation to climate change. The wide range for the estimate of potential economic impacts is due more to the uncertainty relating to the values and assumptions used than to the uncertainty about climate change. The estimate is based on limited data and numerous assumptions and hence is only a very rough initial estimate of the potential economic impact due to climate change.
Region: Americas and Europe

Publication information

Haites, E. D. PantinM. AttzsJ. BruceJ. MacKinnon “Assessment of the Economic Impact of Climate Change on CARICOM Countries” World Bank Technical Paper. 68 p., 2002

Addtional Notes


The available data are sketchy so “low” and “high” values are used for most variables. The values are combined with the climate change scenarios to yield “low” and “high” estimates of the potential economic impacts due to climate change. Values for some categories of climate change impacts, such as the loss of agricultural and fisheries output and loss of some historical resources, could not be calculated. The climate change impacts are expressed as impacts on the current (2000) economy even though the climate change will occur gradually over 50 to 80 years. 


In the low scenario the total impact averages about 5.6% of GDP (ranging between 3.5% in Trinidad and Tobago and 16% in Guyana). In the high scenario the total impact averages over 34% of GDP (ranging between 22% in Trinidad and Tobago and 103% in Guyana). The relatively low impact in Trinidad and Tobago is due to its limited vulnerability to hurricanes and the relatively small size of its tourist industry. The relatively high impact in Guyana appears to be at least partly due to its relatively low per capita GDP.


The largest category of impacts is the loss of land, tourism infrastructure, housing, other buildings and infrastructure due to sea level rise. Those losses represent 65% to 75% of the total economic impacts. Most of the remaining impacts are due to reduced tourism demand due to rising temperatures and loss of beaches, coral reefs and other ecosystems. 

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