- Documents and publications
Climate change and ports: Impacts and adaptation strategies
The risks to port operations and infrastructure from climate change are increasing. This paper explores some of the impacts for the UK ports sector and looks at adaptation strategies to counter them. This paper is presented by HR Wallingford in partnership with the British Ports Association through the Port Futures thought leadership programme. The Port Futures Programme was launched by the British Ports Association in 2018 to examine global emerging trends in ports and shipping.
Some of the report's key points are:
- Tools and methodologies now exist that can be adopted by port managers to analyse the multiple hazards and impacts. The results allow port managers to identify and prioritise adaptation strategies.
- Adaptation to climate change needs to take account of the likely lifetime of the port infrastructure, the operability of the port, resilience under extreme conditions, and building future adaptability into present-day port investments.
- Future adaptation strategies include: building in allowances for sea-level rise when constructing port infrastructure; investing in assets that will make it easier to raise breakwaters and sea walls in the future; and advance planning of how to replace structures when needed, embracing the ‘build back better’ philosophy.