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Climate Change Policy consultation opens

Government 04 May, 2023 Follow News

Climate Change Policy Technical Working Group

The Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency has launched the public consultation period for the draft Climate Change Policy 2023-2040, which runs from 1 May to 30 June 2023.

Premier and Minister of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Hon. Wayne Panton encouraged the community to review the draft policy and provide their feedback.

“In achieving this milestone, the Cayman Islands has now come closer than ever before to having a national climate change policy in place. The draft Climate Change Policy 2023-2040 aims to protect and help our people now and in the future by building resiliency into all sectors of our society and economy, while safeguarding important ecosystem services,” he said. “Public participation is an essential element of inclusive, equitable policy development and I encourage everyone in our community to review the draft policy, attend the planned public meetings and provide your feedback.”

Public Consultation Key Information

• Public meetings will be held in all Cayman Islands districts, including the Sister Islands. Dates and venues to be announced shortly.

• For updates on the public consultation process, including meeting dates and the feedback survey, please visit: https://www.gov.ky/public-consultations

• To learn more about the draft Climate Change Policy and download the public consultation draft, visit: https://www.gov.ky/sustainability/climatechangepolicy

• Feedback on the draft policy can also be submitted via email to climate@gov.ky with subject heading: Climate Change Policy Public Consultation 2023

Climate Change Policy Key Features

Using the findings of the Cayman Islands Climate Change Risk Assessment 2022 (CCRA), the draft policy takes an evidence-based approach to address the ongoing and predicted impacts of climate change. The strategies seek to address the most significant risks to our communities, economic sectors and natural environment.

Of the 50 risks evaluated by the CCRA, the policy focuses on the 18 ‘severe’ risks – including nine threats to society, infrastructure and buildings and nine to biodiversity and natural habitats – as well as an additional 16 ‘moderate’ risks. The risks were reviewed, scored and ranked by group of approximately 60 local and regional experts representing public and private sectors, non-governmental agencies and academia over the course of a two-day technical stakeholder workshop in May 2022.

The draft policy builds on the foundation established by the draft 2011 Climate Change Policy. Some of the recommendations outlined in the 2011 draft policy have since been achieved, such as the adoption of the National Energy Policy and the passage of the National Conservation Act (2013).

The draft policy focuses on strategies to urgently reduce further contributions to climate change (mitigation) and respond to the inevitable impacts of a changing climate (adaptation) to ensure a low or zero carbon, climate-resilient future for the Cayman Islands.

“Our community is already experiencing the impacts of climate change – whether it is the variability in rainfall and higher temperatures affecting our farmers or the king tides that are increasingly inundating communities here in Grand Cayman – and we have local data that confirms the anecdotal evidence. Our tidal gauge data reveals a rising trend, our rainfall data confirms fewer but more significant rain events, and our temperature data shows that local temperatures have increased by around 2.2°C over the past 40 years,” Panton said. “These are real and pressing threats to our way of life in the Cayman Islands. If we want to ensure our islands can continue to be a peaceful, prosperous home for future generations of Caymanians, we have to take urgent action to enhance climate resiliency and reduce vulnerabilities across all areas of our society, economy and environment.”

The draft Climate Change Policy was developed by a technical working group spearheaded by the Ministry and including representatives from the Cayman Islands National Weather Service, Department of Environment and Hazard Management Cayman Islands. The Climate Change Risk Assessment stakeholder group was also consulted on the draft objectives and strategies.

In addition to the schedule of district meetings, the public consultation period will also include focus group meetings with stakeholders in key areas, including financial services, insurance, real estate and development.

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