Navigating a Changing Climate: Moving Towards Low Carbon and Resilient Waterborne Transport Infrastructure

This major international conference, dedicated to the interests of waterborne transport infrastructure owners, operators and users, was organised by the PIANC-led Think Climate coalition.


The conference report from this informative and thought-provoking event includes:

  • highlights the key messages from the conference
  • provides a summary of the presentations
  • includes links to speakers abstracts and bios; to their PowerPoint presentations; and to the video recordings
  • presents the outcomes of an ad hoc lunchtime discussion on energy sources and emissions from waterborne transport

Download the report

The conference was also recorded by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) on behalf of the Think Climate coalition.


The conference had three main themes, reflecting the work streams in the Navigating a Changing Climate Action Plan:

  • MITIGATION: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving towards low- or no-carbon navigation infrastructure
  • ADAPTATION: strengthening resilience and adapting waterborne transport infrastructure to projected changes in sea level, storminess, precipitation, river flow, air and water temperature, waves, wind, fog and other climate parameters
  • INTEGRATION: opportunities to contribute to climate change mitigation or adaptation by supporting intermodality, Working with Nature or integrated coastal management.

Site Visit to Port of Zeebrugge

As part of the conference, delegates had the opportunity to visit the Port of Zeebrugge on the Belgian coast on 29 March 2017. The Port Authority and the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) have kindly provided sponsorship, so there is no cost for conference delegates wishing to take part in this one-day site visit. 

Why hold the event?

Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, world leaders will meet again in November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. The Paris Agreement addressing greenhouses gas emissions, adaptation and finance flows will come into force at that meeting. In the meantime, extreme weather events that are increasingly linked to the changing climate continue to be experienced by ports and navigation authorities across the globe.

Climate change is an important and growing focus of attention. Coming years are likely to see massive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors: navigation infrastructure is no exception. And even if the Paris Agreement succeeds in limiting warming, it is widely agreed that continuing change in certain climate parameters is unavoidable. Resilience will need to be strengthened and waterborne transport infrastructure will need to adapt. Preparedness will be critical.

Event Properties

Event Date 27-03-2017
Event End Date 28-03-2017
Location Crowne Plaza Hotel - Le Palace

Location Map