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A climate-economy policy model for Barbados

Small island developing states have long managed to respond nimbly in the face of continual change — a challenge that will be magnified by climate change. In this study, the authors present a model that can help inform responses to future climate impacts.

Eric Kemp-Benedict, Nella Canales / Published on 25 February 2020

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Kemp-Benedict, E., Drakes, C. and Canales, N. (2020). A Climate-Economy Policy Model for Barbados. Economies 2020, 8(1), 16.

Small island developing states (SIDS), such as Barbados, must continually adapt in the face of uncertain external drivers. These include demand for exports, tourism demand, and extreme weather events. Climate change introduces further uncertainty into the external drivers.

To address the challenge, this study presents a policy-oriented simulation model that builds upon prior work by the authors and their collaborators. Intended for policy analysis, it follows a robust decision making (RDM) philosophy of identifying policies that lead to positive outcomes across a wide range of external changes.

While the model can benefit from further development, it illustrates the importance for SIDS of incorporating climate change into national planning. Even without climate change, normal variation in export and tourism demand drive divergent trajectories for the economy and external debt. With climate change, increasing storm damage adds to external debt as the loss of productive capital and need to rebuild drives imports.

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SEI authors

Eric Kemp-Benedict
Eric Kemp-Benedict

SEI Affiliated Researcher


Nella Canales
Nella Canales

Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

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