The latest news and developments on the implications of climate change for waterborne transport infrastructure. News is added by partners of the the Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership. You can also let us know about the latest developments by emailing us, or by using #navclimate on twitter.

#NavClimate Focal Point

#NavClimate Focal Point

On January 9th 2020 PIANC launched its technical guidance on climate change adaptation planning.

Ports and waterways around the world are already experiencing air and water temperature increases, rising sea levels, and changes in parameters such as seasonal precipitation, wind and wave conditions. Many are also seeing more frequent and severe extreme events including storms, heatwaves and droughts.

Climate change represents a significant risk to business, operations, safety and infrastructure – and hence to local, national and global economies. Waterborne transport infrastructure will be adversely affected. Port and waterway operators need to take urgent action to strengthen resilience and adapt.

The guidance, which has been prepared by the international experts on PIANC’s Working Group 178, provides an introduction to the potential consequences of climate change and some of the challenges to be addressed if ports and waterways are to adapt effectively.

It then introduces a four-stage methodological framework to help port and waterway owners and operators plan to adapt infrastructure and improve resilience.  Sixteen international good practice case studies are appended to the guidance, along with various templates to be used for data collection and record keeping.

The guidance can be freely-downloaded at 

Navigating a Changing Climate at COPEDEC

On Thursday 19th and Friday 20th November 2020, the Navigating a Changing Climate partners will organise a two-day conference as part of the 10th International Conference on Coastal and Port Engineering in Developing Countries (COPEDEC) to be held in The Philippines, hosted by The Philippine Ports Authority.

The themes of this ‘conference within a conference’ will include:

-Moving towards ‘net zero’ emissions of greenhouse gases from port infrastructure including the port estate

-Ports’ role in enabling the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from vessels

-Intermodality and system-level climate change resilience 

-Effects of extreme weather, including risk assessments, contingency plans and warning systems 

-Monitoring and adaptive management for responding to change 

-Climate change adaptation, including theory and practice, methodologies and case studies 

-Optimising operational resilience, including the role of inspection and maintenance 

-Flexible and adaptive infrastructure designNature-based solutions to improve navigation infrastructure resilience 

-Other climate change topics

One-page abstracts are now invited on any of the above themes and other climate change related topics.  The selection of presentations will be based solely on these abstracts.

In addition to a title (maximum 20 words), the abstract should include the name(s) of the author(s), their affiliation(s) and country.  Where there is more than one author, the main (presenting) author must be clearly indicated.  The most appropriate conference theme should also be indicated.

Selected papers must be presented at the conference by one of the authors, and the main author must guarantee such a presentation. Presenting authors will be entitled to a reduced registration fee (to be confirmed but likely 200 euros compared to 300 euros for Navigating a Changing Climate conference delegates).

Abstracts should be submitted as a PDF attached to an email to the conference secretariat   and copied to .  The email title line should be clearly marked with the main author’s surname and ‘Navigating a Changing Climate conference abstract’.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 21st February 2020

Some reflections from Navigating a Changing Climate's week at COP25 in Madrid, Spain, along with details on how to submit an abstract for the next Navigating a Changing Climate conference, to be held as part of the forthcoming COPEDEC conference in the Philippines, can both be found in PIANC's December 2019 newsletter available at

A new Sustainable Shipping Initiative report discussing the possible role of sustainable biofuels in the decarbonisation of shipping was published on 11th December at COP25 in Madrid.  The report sets out the findings of an inquiry into the sustainability and availability of such products.  

Find out more at 

On 10th December 2019, at the Round Table on Resilience at COP25 in Madrid, Spain, the President of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) launched the association’s Declaration on Climate Change.

In addition to recognising the role of waterborne transport infrastructure owners and operators in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Declaration focuses on the urgent need to strengthen resilience, and adapt port and waterway infrastructure and operations to the effects of climate change.  In particular, it highlights that climate change adaptation action does not need to be complex or costly.  There are many simple and relatively inexpensive measures that can be put in place to help strengthen the resilience of critical navigation infrastructure.

Find out more at 

NavClimate partner ESPO and supporter EFIP have issued a joint Position Paper, entitled Ports in the European Rail System, which calls on policy makers to put port-rail networks at the heart of multi-modality.  This issue is a key element of the Navigating a Changing Climate partnership's objective of delivering integrated solutions (theme 4 on our Action Plan). 

Aside from rail's role in providing logistical hinterland connections to both sea and Inland ports, rail is also one of the main tools to respond to climate change related events. When water levels hinder navigability across IWT sections, rail allows for adaptation and a continuity of service. This requires the outlined investments in ensuring a connected and robust network. In particular, multiple port rail connections become even more essential in order to adapt accordingly.

Read the Position Paper at


A Press Release from #NavClimate supporter EFIP confirms that European inland waterway transport, already known for its sustainability record, is moving forward to further improve its performance.  It aims to reach an emission reduction of more than 50% by 2030 and to sail zero-emission by 2050 offering climate neutral and zero-pollution mobility.

Inland ports, as enablers of green logistics, are supporting this transition by rolling out alternative fuels infrastructure and market measures. As hubs, inland ports envision connecting climate friendly inland shipping with other sustainable transport modes and logistical solutions.

Five very innovative vessels called at the port of Brussels on 16th October 2019 to showcase the type of technological solutions that will enable the inland sector to cut CO2 and air emissions to a minimum. Technologies included zero-emission options such as battery-electric, gas-electric, ultra clean biofuel drivetrains and hydrogen

Find out more at

NavClimate supporter Port of Antwerp today announced that they have ordered the construction of a tug powered by hydrogen, the first in the world. This is another important step by the Port in its transition to a sustainable, CO2-neutral port. And by lending support to this promising technology Port of Antwerp hopes that the shipping industry will follow.

Find out more at


Exciting news today from the UN Climate Action Summit: the Getting to Zero Coalition, an alliance of senior leaders from the maritime, energy, infrastructure and finance sectors supported by government and IGOs, will lead the push for shipping’s decarbonization with the mutual goal of having commercially viable zero emission vessels operating along deep sea trade routes by 2030

Find out more at

Registration is now open for the Green Inland Shipping event, organised by Navigating a Changing Climate supporters EFIP, INE and others and hosted by the Port of Brussels. 

Participants will be able to board and explore several innovative vessels that are making the journey towards decarbonisation as hydrogen and electricity become part of the propulsion mix.

Details are available at and the registration form can be found at

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