The Dominican Republic, located in the Caribbean, is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to its geographic location and heavy dependence on agriculture, fisheries, and tourism. The country is also prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods, which are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change. As such, the Dominican Republic has made a commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the key commitments made by the Dominican Republic under the Paris Agreement is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030, compared to the levels recorded in 2010. To achieve this target, the country has implemented a range of policies and measures. The Dominican Republic’s National Energy Plan 2017-2027 includes a target of sourcing 25% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The government has also provided incentives for renewable energy investments, including a renewable energy fund that provides financing for renewable energy projects. As a result, the country has seen significant growth in the renewable energy sector, with a 30% increase in installed capacity in 2020 compared to 2019.
Furthermore, the Dominican Republic has adopted energy efficiency measures such as the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Law, which requires government agencies and private companies to implement energy efficiency measures in their operations. The law also mandates the use of energy-efficient equipment and appliances, such as LED lighting, in new buildings and renovations. The government has also launched the National Forestry Inventory project to monitor and reduce deforestation. Deforestation is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the country, as it results in the loss of carbon sinks and releases stored carbon into the atmosphere. The project aims to improve forest management and land-use practices, and to promote reforestation.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Dominican Republic has developed a National Climate Change Strategy to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The strategy outlines a range of measures to address the impacts of climate change on the country’s ecosystems, water resources, and agriculture. One of the key measures is the promotion of sustainable agriculture practices, including the use of drought-resistant crops. The strategy also includes the improvement of water management, such as the construction of new reservoirs and the implementation of efficient irrigation systems.
The Dominican Republic is also investing in the development of early warning systems for natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods. The country is particularly vulnerable to these types of disasters, which can cause significant damage to infrastructure, disrupt tourism and fishing industries, and threaten the lives and livelihoods of local communities. The development of early warning systems can help reduce the impact of these disasters by providing advanced notice and enabling better preparedness and response.
Additionally, the Dominican Republic is taking measures to protect its coastline from erosion and flooding. The country has a long coastline, which is home to coral reefs and other marine ecosystems that are vital for fisheries and tourism. However, rising sea levels and increasing storm surges are putting these ecosystems at risk. To address this, the government is investing in the construction of sea walls, mangrove restoration, and other measures to protect the coastline from erosion and flooding.
Despite these efforts, the Dominican Republic still faces significant challenges in adapting to the impacts of climate change. The country is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, which threatens its low-lying coastal areas and infrastructure. The country’s water resources are also at risk due to increasing droughts and water scarcity. In addition, the country’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism, which is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as the loss of beaches and damage to coral reefs. Addressing these challenges will require continued efforts from the government, private sector, and civil society, as well as international support and cooperation.
Overall, the Dominican Republic has taken significant steps to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. However, given the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, continued efforts are needed to build resilience and protect the country’s ecosystems, economy, and communities. The success of these efforts will depend on a collective global response to the urgent threat of climate change.
UNFCCC. “Nationally Determined Contribution of the Dominican Republic.” 2021, unfccc.int/NDCStatusAndRegistry/nationalDocuments Accessed 23 Apr. 2023.
World Resources Institute. “The Dominican Republic’s Climate Commitment.” Climate Watch, 2021, climatewatchdata.org/countries/DOM. Accessed 23 Apr. 2023.
Climate Action Tracker. “Dominican Republic.” 12 Nov. 2021, climateactiontracker.org/countries/dominican-republic/. Accessed 23 Apr. 2023.
United Nations Development Programme. “Climate Resilience and Disaster Risk Management.” 2018, undp.org/content/dam/dominican_republic/docs/Estudio%20AMCLIM_ingles_2018_10_09_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 23 Apr. 2023.
The World Bank. “Dominican Republic.” 2022, worldbank.org/en/country/dominicanrepublic. Accessed 23 Apr. 2023.
Inter-American Development Bank. “Climate Resilient and Low Carbon Development in the Dominican Republic.” 2019, iadb.org/en/document/climate-resilient-and-low-carbon-development-dominican-republic. Accessed 23 Apr. 2023.