Ports: Staying Competitive Through Climate Adaptation

Climate change will impact longstanding infrastructure, such as our ports. And since the vast majority of non-service-sector corporations rely on ports for some part of their supply chain, I encourage you to read Climate Risk and Business Ports, a framework for both evaluating and mitigating the risks of climate change on port operations. Its summary can help us find ways to evaluate risk. The report notes that climate change is likely to impact:


• Demand, trade levels and patterns affecting total trade through the port

• Navigation and berthing

• Goods handling

• Vehicle movements inside the port

• Goods storage

• Inland transport beyond the port

• Environmental performance

• Social performance

• Insurance

Suggested solutions include raising causeway road heights, paving unpaved surfaces, increasing bridge clearances, increasing culvert diameters, reconsidering road underpasses, improving drainage, managing refrigeration’s energy intensity, developing trade in climate-resilient commodities, protecting storage areas from flooding and adding additional insurance.

Generally, building to a higher standard is now a viable climate adaptation for long-life infrastructure. Ports that begin now to increase the reliability of their infrastructure can improve their economic performance and attractiveness to investors and users.