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 https://www.espo.be/news/espo-position-paper-on-climate-change-adaptation.