Climate change impacts on ports and trade: The need to adapt

20 September 2011

Ports are likely to be affected directly and indirectly by climate changes, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events and rising temperatures. Climate change and its impact on ports will be the theme of the upcoming Expert Meeting that will take place from the 29th to the 30th of September.

Over 80 per cent of world trade volume is carried by sea. International shipping and ports provide crucial linkages in global supply-chains and are essential for the ability of all countries, including those that are landlocked, to access global markets.

Given ports' strategic role as part of the international trading system, it is of vital importance that experts take a closer look at the impact of climate change on sea transport systems and ports in different parts of the world, with broader implications for international trade and for the development prospects of the most vulnerable nations, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS).

A good understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities in the construction, management, and maintenance of ports is key to developing effective measures that will enhance the resilience of systems, and minimize the adverse effects of climate change.

The meeting will bring together policy makers, planning authorities, port industry representatives and operators, as well as engineers, who will share insights and discuss pertinent issues to identify vulnerabilities and risks, adaptation requirements, information sources, and partners for effective collaboration.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research (PIK)
  • Mr. Susumu Naruse, Secretary-General, International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH)
  • Mr Simon Bennett, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)
  • Mr. Philippe Crist, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) - International Transport Forum (ITF) Joint Transport Research Centre
  • Mr. Vladimir Stenek, International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank
  • Mr. Mike Savonis, ICF International / Gulf Coast Study, United States Department of Transport
  • Prof. Miguel Esteban, Waseda University, Tokyo
  • Prof. Robert Nicholls, University of Southampton
  • Mr. Austin Becker, Stanford University
  • Prof. von Lieberman, Hamburg Port Authority
  • Mr. Andrew Mather, Ethekwini Municipality, South Africa
  • Mrs. Sin Lan Ng Yun Wing, Director, Ministry of Environment, Mauritius
  • Dr. Leonard Nurse, University of the West Indies, Barbados
  • Dr. Adolf NG, The Hong Kong (China) Polytechnic University
  • Dr. Laurent Cretegny, Institute for Economic Modelling, Lausanne/ Economics of Climate Change Study, World Bank
For further information, including about related activities, see: