Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Coastal Transport Infrastructure:
A Compilation of Policies and Practices
Given the strategic role of ports and of other key coastal transport infrastructure as part of the global trading system, and the potential for climate-related delays and disruptions across global supply chains, enhancing their climate resilience is a matter of strategic economic importance. In view of the long service life of transport infrastructure, and the potentially major consequences of inaction, effective adaptation and resilience building requires re-thinking of established approaches and practices early.
Successful adaptation strategies need to be underpinned by strong legal and regulatory frameworks, that can help to reduce exposure and/or vulnerability to climate-related risks of coastal transport infrastructure. Thus, legal and regulatory approaches, as well as policies and plans are going to be key to efforts at facilitating effective risk and vulnerability assessments and providing a supportive framework for adaptation action at all levels. Guidance, standards, best practices, methodologies and other tools in support of adaptation are urgently required, and targeted capacity building is going to be critical, especially for the most vulnerable countries.
Against this background, the UNCTAD report on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Coastal Transport Infrastructure: A Compilation of Policies and Practices presents examples of legal, regulatory and policy approaches, as well as of reports, studies and guidance to support climate risk, vulnerability and impact assessment, and the development of effective adaptation response measures. The compilation provides an overview of each example listed and refers to the original source documents as well as other related material providing further information. Practices addressed in the document relate to a total of over 35 countries covering five continents, as well as practices that are considered of global nature.
By way of context, the report also provides a brief overview of climate change impacts on coastal transportation, and of recent trends and projections regarding some key climate drivers of relevance to coastal zones, as well as of approaches to risk-assessment and adaptation.