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.

European Sea Ports Organisation

European Sea Ports Organisation

On 9 February, the European Parliament endorsed the agreement on the Proposal for a Regulation establishing a Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). With a budget of EUR 672.5 billion, the RRF is the EU’s main instrument to recover from the crisis caused by COVID-19.

While being hit hard by the pandemic and the various restrictive measures, the transport sector has demonstrated its crucial role in the supply of goods and and movement of people and has thus proven its indispensability for a functioning European Union.

Alongside a number of other European transport industry associations, ESPO has called on Member States and the European Commission to ensure that the transport sector receives adequate consideration in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans.

The full press release is available at 

Thursday, 17 September 2020 14:21

EFIP Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

Inland ports are more than familiar with the impacts of climate change. The increasingly serious effects of low-water levels have demonstrated beyond doubt the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change. To do so, the European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) believes there are a number of objectives the upcoming review of the climate change adaptation strategy must take into account.

It must firstly ensure safe and reliable navigation through the development of smart infrastructure systems that are able to respond rapidly to extreme weather events. The strategy must also facilitate bimodal contingency solutions so that logistics flows can be transferred to other sustainable transport modes - primarily rail - when waterway navigation is not possible. Finally, the strategy must bring new, modern vessel concepts to the market that can operate in low-water levels. In order to achieve these objectives, EFIP suggests the following concrete actions:
• mainstream climate proofing in European legislation;
• develop fit for future infrastructure;
• adapting CEF and financing to the new realities, including mainstreaming climate resilience and including specific calls on climate resilient infrastructure;
• support research and development for planning and design tools to allow the creation, implementation and maintenance of climate change resilient infrastructure; and
• facilitate cross-border and cross-sectoral action and guidance.


The full climate change adaptation position paper can be found at:

Thursday, 17 September 2020 10:04

ESPO Climate Change Adaptation Position

As entities particularly vulnerable to the disastrous effects of climate change, European ports are acutely aware of the need to bring the European Commission’s climate change adaptation strategy up to date.

In its position paper, ESPO (European Sea Ports Organisation) asks the Commission to consider four points: firstly, to mainstream climate change adaptation into EU legislation and financial instruments (including integration adaptation considerations into methodologies for evaluating projects and in impact assessments).

Secondly, European authorities should strengthen the funding possibilities for adaptation infrastructure and investments. This may mean pushing authorities at local level: ports are often the main protection for cities when it comes to flooding, meaning that co-financing investments with local municipalities should be incentivised.

Thirdly, the Commission should invest in reliable data-driven climate proofing guidance. Guidance documents need to be prepared as soon as possible: efforts should thus be made to translate already existing knowledge and data sets into practical tools.

Finally, ESPO urges the Commission to recognise ports as critical infrastructure, to ensure they receive legal and financial support relevant to their vulnerable position.


The full ESPO position on climate change adaptation can be found at

Wednesday, 09 October 2019 16:48

European Sea Ports Organisation

About ESPO

ESPO is the European Sea Ports Organisation. ESPO is the principal interface between European seaports and the European institutions and its policy makers. ESPO represents the port authorities, port associations and port administrations of the seaports of 23 Member States of the European Union and Norway at EU political level. ESPO also has observer members in Iceland and Israel.


ESPO’s objectives

Based in Brussels since its establishment in 1993, the European Sea Ports Organisation ensures that seaports have a clear voice in the European Union. ESPO represents the common interests and promotes the common views and values of its members to the European institutions and its policy makers.

  • ESPO assists its members in gaining a better understanding of policy initiatives of importance to the sector.
  • ESPO assists European policy makers in better understanding the role and importance of port authorities, based both on its extensive knowledge of the sector and on reliable information and data.
  • ESPO is also engaged in a continuous dialogue with all European stakeholders in the port and maritime sector.
  • Finally, over the years, ESPO has turned into a unique knowledge network of European port authorities.


ESPO’s aspirations for Navigating a Changing Climate

Overall awareness of climate change is relatively high amongst ESPO’s membership. Energy consumption has been identified as number 2 environmental priority of the sector for 2016 and around half of ESPO’s members calculate and report on their carbon footprint. Ports get their license to operate and to grow from their surrounding local communities and decarbonisation and fighting climate change are at the heart of the communities’ interests. Finally, ports are literally on the front row when it comes to facing the consequences of Climate Change (sea level rise, extreme weather conditions). Through its participation in the Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership, ESPO aims to build further awareness amongst its member ports on both climate change mitigation and adaptation.


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