Climate resilience in Jamaica

Creating a platform for infrastructure risk assessment and resilient investment prioritisation in Jamaica

The Challenge

Infrastructure systems, including energy, transport, and water supply networks, are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Repairing and replacing infrastructure after a disaster can take months or even years, denying people of essential services and adding to the financial burdens on governments and communities. It is estimated that US$80 trillion of investment in new and existing infrastructure is required worldwide over the next 15 years.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable countries in the world to the adverse effects of climate change. During the last 20 years, Jamaica has endured several and more frequent disasters impacting on average at least 1% of GDP per year. Undoubtedly, Jamaica has a long history of devasting damage from climate hazards which is projected to increase in future, which would require urgent investment in resilient infrastructure. There is also an increased need to understand the economic value of assets at risk and how to leverage natural assets to propose green solutions.

With this key need in mind, the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI) was created and launched at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit (UNCAS) representing the commitment of the global private financial industry, to foster more efficient integration of physical climate risks (PCRs) in investment decision-making. The Government of Jamaica joined CCRI to better understand and manage climate risks to mobilise the public and private capital necessary to realise sustainable economic development.

Project Objectives

CCRI represents a commitment from the global private sector towards the development of practical analytical and investment solutions for decision-making that better incorporates climate risk. The Coalition currently comprises 120 institutions ranging from institutional investors, banks, rating agencies, engineering firms and insurance companies.

The pilot project: A geospatial analysis platform for infrastructure risk assessment and resilient investment prioritization in Jamaica is an initiative co-created and funded by the UK Government through its Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and co-implemented by the ECI, University of Oxford and the Planning Institute of Jamaica under CCRI’s working group for Systemic Resilience.

The pilot project aims to develop a systemic resilience assessment tool that will integrate climate risk analytics into decision-making to prioritize policies and investment decisions to reduce losses and enhance infrastructure resilience. The project objectives are to assist in:

  1. Assessing the risks of climate-related damage to infrastructure to inform financial forecasting and contingency planning;
  2. Making the case for additional investments in improving infrastructure resilience;
  3. Assisting with recovery planning.