A new evidence report released by the Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency of the Cayman Islands Government on 23 February presents the most comprehensive review of climate risks and opportunities to the Cayman Islands undertaken to date.

The report, developed in partnership with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas), identifies, scores and ranks 50 risks related to biodiversity and habitats, the economy and society in the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands Premier and Minister of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Hon. G. Wayne Panton said the Climate Change Risk Assessment provides an important evidence base for informing an updated national climate change policy, which is currently being developed by a technical working group spearheaded by the Ministry of Sustainability & Climate Resiliency and the Department of Environment.

"We know small island nations like the Cayman Islands are the figurative ‘canaries in the coalmine’ for the existential threats posed by climate change. Initiatives like the Climate Change Risk Assessment and development of an updated national Climate Change Policy are essential to ensuring our community can navigate the ongoing and anticipated challenges of a warming world while balancing our environment, economy and society,” he said.

Key findings

The risk report analysed important physical climate change drivers and impacts, including: changes in storms, cyclones, winds, waves and storm surges; sea-level rise; increasing air and sea temperatures; changes in ocean salinity; ocean acidification; and changes to rainfall patterns. Local and regional data reveal that many of these impacts are already occurring, including fewer but more severe rainfall events, increased frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, and increases in air and sea temperatures.

Of the 50 risks analysed in the Climate Change Risk Assessment, 18 were considered severe based on a combined review of magnitude (seriousness), proximity (urgency) and confidence of available scientific data. Severe risks included impacts to marine species such as sea turtles and corals, loss and damage to natural habitats, disruption to the energy sector, and damage and inundation of key infrastructure such as sewerage systems, roads, airports, coastal settlements, ports and shipping traffic.


Launched in 2021 by the Cayman Islands Government in partnership with UKCEH and Cefas, the Climate Change Risk Assessment identifies risks posed by climate change to the country’s current and future needs, and highlights opportunities for increasing climate resiliency.

Over the course of 2022, UKCEH and Cefas conducted extensive desktop research to compile a draft report which was ground-truthed by local and regional experts. Over the course of a two-day workshop held in May 2022, technical stakeholders representing more than 30 public and private organisations reviewed, scored and ranked the draft risk register based on magnitude, proximity and confidence of available scientific data. Local technical stakeholders attended the workshops in-person while regional experts joined remotely.

The methodology used in the analysis was informed by protocols developed for the United Kingdom’s 2012 and subsequent Climate Change Risk Assessments.

Further information

More details of the key findings and background to the report, and the next steps, are available from the Cayman Islands Government.

The full Cayman Islands Climate Change Risk Assessment technical evidence report and non-technical summary document are available for review