The Caribbean region is bracing for near record heat levels until October, with the peak expected in August and September. Climate scientists continue to emphasize that the recurring heatwaves in the Caribbean are symptomatic of the worsening climate crisis, despite the region contributing minimally to global emissions. Amidst this situation, the Caribbean Climate Network (CCN) is spearheading the ‘I Love the Caribbean‘ campaign, highlighting how climate change effects, like the current heat levels, are impacting daily life, communities, and cultural heritage across the region and also making a call to action.

A worrisome scenario is resonating throughout many Caribbean nations. For example, the extreme heat took a toll on vulnerable populations in places like Puerto Rico last year, where the elderly suffered most, in a rapidly aging demographic comprising around 750,000 individuals aged 65 and above. In Grenada, there is currently a water crisis precipitated by prolonged drought conditions, aged water infrastructure and exacerbated by the heat. There, the current water restrictions mark the most severe water crisis experienced in 14 years.

Across the region, highly exposed to the scorching temperatures are various occupational groups, including construction workers, airport staff, maritime and fishing industry workers, road construction laborers, and farmers. The health risks associated with prolonged exposure to extreme heat have prompted authorities to issue advisories for residents to remain indoors, abstain from strenuous activities and maintain proper hydration, something that is not easily accessible to all persons.

In response to the climate effects already visible, like the heat wave, CCN along with various partner groups and leaders are hosting over 15 events during this month, urging participants to connect their love for the Caribbean to the climate action needed to protect these places, things and festivities that are loved by many. On June 14-16, CCN members and collaborators across the region will draw attention to the ongoing heat emergency and its pervasive effects on livelihoods.

Members of the Caribbean Climate Network, part of the global climate action organization, have also released a video highlighting the urgent need to address the heat emergency. The collective endeavors aim to underscore the critical importance of climate action in safeguarding the beloved Caribbean region. Their activities include learning programs, trainings, events, mobilizations and mentorship to upcoming climate advocates.