New International Coalition of Navigation Infrastructure Associations urge Think Climate

TOKYO, 4 December 2015: On Sunday 6th December, Transport Day at the Paris #COP21, PIANC’s Think Climate coalition will formally launch its 2015-2020 Action Plan, entitled Navigating a Changing Climate

The international associations that are partners in the PIANC Think Climate coalition have prepared this Action Plan jointly, as an initiative under the Transport Focus of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda coordinated by the Paris Process on Mobility and Climate . The Navigating a Changing Climate initiative forms part of the COP21 #WeAreTransport campaign , which seeks to deliver urgent action: decarbonising the transport sector, improving the resilience of transport infrastructure,and adapting transport infrastructure to the effects of the changing climate.

The principle of stronger together underpins the work of the Think Climate coalition: broadening effort, scaling-up activity, and reaching out to an extended audience around the world. The Action Plan sets out the measures required to realise the coalition’s vision of ensuring the owners, operators and users of navigation infrastructure , globally:

  • are aware of the issues associated with the changing climate, and of the need to act now
  • have access to existing and new, sector-specific technical and institutional resources aimed at facilitating climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • have developed the capacity to make timely and effective mitigation and adaptation decisions, and
  • collaborate with others within and beyond the sector to identify and deliver integrated, resilient and sustainable solutions, with an emphasis on Working with Nature

By providing a one-stop-shop for information and support, inter alia through the preparation of technical good practice guidance and the organisation of conferences, workshops and webinars, the Think Climate coalition will encourage the navigation infrastructure sector:

  • to take measures to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions; to take decisions that avoid locking into fossil fuel futures; and to move to low carbon infrastructure
  • to act to prepare for climate change, to strengthen resilience, and to adapt inland and maritime waterborne transport infrastructure to sea level rise, more frequent floods or droughts, more extreme wave, wind or flow conditions and other effects, and
  • to seek integrated and sustainable solutions by Working with Nature and by engaging with others, both within and beyond the navigation sector.

Geoffroy Caude, President of PIANC, said “This is a vitally important initiative. Waterborne transport infrastructure has always been designed and operated taking into account extreme water levels, storms, waves and droughts but climate change is exacerbating these conditions and we are already seeing conditions rarely if ever seen before – for example the120 consecutive days of low water experienced this year on the River Rhine, Europe ́s busiest waterway, or the severe water shortages in lake Gatun (the source of fresh water to the Panama canal locks) associated with the strongest El Nino event recorded since the opening of this canal in 1914.

Events of such significance require a commensurate response. PIANC’s new Think Climate coalition therefore brings together all the major international associations with interests in navigation infrastructure, with the objective of hastening mitigation action to reduce emissions from waterborne transport infrastructure; improving preparedness; and promoting the adaptation of infrastructure to the effects of the changing climate

Susumu Naruse, Secretary General of IAPH, mentioned “The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) as a partner in the Think Climate coalition isproud and happy to be part of the #We AreTransport campaign and our global efforts of combating climate change will be advanced further”.