A Jamaican delegation is now in Dubai for critical talks as part of the grouping of small island developing states (SIDS) from the Pacific, Caribbean, Africa, Indian Ocean, and South China Seas, which have converged ahead of the pivotal United Nations climate summit, COP28.
The SIDS are using the meetings, which started on Sunday, to strengthen positions on priorities that must be achieved to give these countries the best chance of sustainably coping with worsening climate change impacts.
Data from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Climate Impact Lab released this morning in the Human Climate Horizons show that by 2100 climate change is expected to cause the submergence of a significant share of land in The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, and Seychelles.
According to the report, the rise in sea levels brought about by climate change has exposed land, home to more than 14 million people, to the risk of a 20-year flood since the first decade of this century.
“Continuing our current course of global greenhouse gas emissions is projected, by the end of the century, to expand this floodplain — where floods have a five per cent chance of striking in any given year — to areas today populated by nearly 73 million people.
“Land — home to roughly five per cent of the population of coastal cities, such as Santos, Brazil; Cotonou, Benin; and Kolkata, India — will face increased flood risk by mid-century. Flood risk exposure is anticipated to double to 10 per cent of the population by the end of the century.
“Many low-lying regions along the coasts of Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia may face a severe threat of permanent inundation, part of an alarming trend, with the potential to trigger a reversal in human development in coastal communities worldwide,” said the report.