Perhaps no people know better than Haitians just how dangerous, destructive and destabilizing climate change can be.
Haiti – which had not yet recovered from a massive 2010 earthquake when Hurricane Matthew killed perhaps a thousand people and caused a cholera outbreak in 2016 – is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change.
Scientists say extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods and droughts will become worse as the planet warms. Island nations are expected to be among the hardest hit by those and other impacts of a changing climate, like shoreline erosion.
To help Haiti address this pending crisis, international donors have stepped in with funding for climate action. The problem with that system, as I found in a recent analysis of international climate aid in Haiti, is that the money may not be going where it’s most needed.
Though Haiti’s greenhouse gas emissions amount cumulatively to less than 0.03 percent of global carbon emissions, it is a full participant in the 2015 Paris climate agreement and has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 5 percent by 2030.
To meet that goal, Haitian officials say, the Caribbean country must switch 1 million traditional light bulbs for more efficient LED bulbs, grow 137,500 hectares of new forest and shift 47 percent of its electricity generation to renewable sources. Those are just a few objectives in Haiti’s 2015-2030 climate plan.
It needs help to meet them.
Haiti is among the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly 60 percent of the population lives on less than US$2.41 per day, according to the country’s 2012 household survey, the most recent poverty data available.
More than 20 percent of its…