The Dominican Republic is one of many countries to sign the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016 and to begin to make a change and accept that climate change is a growing issue. We only really have about 11 to 12 years to really make a difference to save our planet from becoming a train wreck that we cannot avoid. The Dominican Republic is incredibly vulnerable to climate change impacts as it is an island in the Caribbean. This means that if the ocean rises, this threatens the beaches, and if global temperatures and tropical storms continue to increase, this means more accidents or deaths. But the Dominican Republic, my home country, has accepted this and has joined the agreement. Just last year, the country started its climate action plan with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) that work under the Paris Agreement to advance the country’s commitments to the agreement. Actually, my home country has been incredible in supporting the agreement: in 2015, the Dominican Republic submitted its own commitment to global efforts against climate change. This was approved in 2018, and it prioritizes the following: “adaptive and integrated watershed management through local systems of sustainable production; plans to reduce climate vulnerability in agriculture; tourist and marine coastal areas; incentives to increase energy efficiency; participation of non-conventional renewable energy; and lastly, a deployment of cleaner transportation alternatives.” This plan is providing the planning, coordination, and mobilization of resources.
All of this means that the Dominican Republic has started with its best foot forward to make its own contribution towards the Paris Agreement; it was even willing to commit before signing the Paris Agreement. Since this plan was essentially started in 2018, I don’t believe there has been any fully fleshed-out data to see how the country is currently changing from the past. But with this early commitment, I believe the country is going to fully commit to change because the entire island’s livelihood is on the line. The biggest hurdle the Dominican Republic might confront, though, is the deployment of cleaner transportation alternatives. With the government being so corrupt, and the island not having something as modern as what we have here in the U.S., getting alternative transportation up and running might take a while to get going. Because the country has a large quantity of taxis and motorcycles (also being used as taxis), it might be hard to get the population to swap over to other modes. An alternative idea, or something that could be added to that list, is utilizing the island to try to set up a wind farm. It would have to be strong enough to withstand mild tropical storms in order to not be destroyed. The effects of this plan won’t immediately show, but it’s already an enormous positive that the Dominican Republic is starting to put into effect its own plans for things they want to achieve. But the island knows that climate change is a threat to the tourist life and also to the lives of its citizens. So no matter how willing it is, the Dominican Republic is only a small island in the Caribbean, and it heavily depends on other countries to commit to this agreement. If only the Dominican Republic commits, but no major country does, then climate change will progress even further and be detrimental to even living on the island.