Storms and sea level rise could cost ports billions of dollars

Ports around the world could suffer billions of dollars in damage if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, a report find. Extreme weather, flooding and rising sea levels will all damage vital port infrastructure, disrupting global supply routes.

According to a report by the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), losses from climate-related hurricanes and port failures could amount to nearly $10 billion a year by 2050. By 2100, without action against climate change, those costs could add up to more than $25 billion a year. For context, that final number is more than the total operating profit of the entire global container shipping industry for a year.

Many ports have overwhelmed after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed weak points in the global supply chain. Now, the ports and shipping industry have a lot of work to do to reduce their own planet-warming pollution and avoid the worst-case scenarios outlined in the report, its authors warn.

“Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown our ports and global supply chains into crisis, emergency mode,” said Marie Hubatova, senior manager of EDF’s global shipping group. Climate change will have major consequences for international shipping,” said Marie Hubatova, senior manager of EDF’s global shipping group, in a statement. Press Release. “However, in the face of climate decline, the shipping industry has an early warning bell and an opportunity to act.”

Severe storms are among the biggest threats outlined in the report, especially as stormwater sweeps across infrastructure and ships. The damage they caused to ports accounted for the bulk of the damage forecast in the report. Proof is piling up that tropical cyclones are becoming more intense in a warming world. That means more rainfall and even stronger storm winds. Then there’s sea level rise: as sea levels get higher, the waves are more destructive and stormy.

Those changes come with a bigger price tag, should storms rip through the ports. Hurricane Katrina, which hit the US Gulf Coast in 2005, damages US ports about 2.2 billion dollars. The economic damage at the port in Mobile, Alabama could have been 5.5 times greater than that of Katrina if sea levels and high tides had risen, as some models predict possibly by 2100, the new report says. new report said.

After hurricanes, recovery costs are lengthy and shipping delays are costly. The report also shows the costs that ports incur in adapting to climate change. The gates may have to raise the structure, construction protective barrier like a sea wall, or even relocate to higher ground. There are also costs due to trains having to chart new routes to avoid bad weather. The report notes that weather, which has become increasingly severe as the world warms, is responsible for about a fifth of ships lost globally between 2015 and 2019.

Fortunately, the road ahead is not rocky. The report is based on a worst-case scenario for the climate crisis, which is if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. The Paris Agreement pledges the nations Almost eliminates greenhouse gas in the middle of this century, though The world is not moving in the right direction yet to achieve that goal.

However, some policymakers are also thinking about how to prepare. In the US, last year’s bipartisan infrastructure legislation included $17 billion in upgrades to ports and waterways – largely to ease congestion. Ports also “face significant challenges in terms of infrastructure modernization and maintenance of essential facilities in the face of the threat posed by sea level rise and other climate challenges,” a White House said. flyer speak.

Such efforts will also require cooperation with the private sector. “Tactically, the question is, how do you interact with companies to try to help them understand their own asset risk?” Sreenivas Ramaswamy, senior policy adviser at the US Department of Commerce, said at a dashboard yesterday as he discussed strengthening America’s supply chains – including ports – against climate change and other risks. Facilitating greater collaboration between policymakers and industry is an important foundation for supply chain resilience, he noted.

Some retail and Shipping in progress giants have switched to less polluting vessels. That is very important, because maritime shipping generates almost 3 percent global greenhouse gas emissions. The the vast majority traded goods, after all, are transported by ocean liner. The report said the shipping industry should “act now or pay later”. Storms and sea level rise could cost ports billions of dollars

Fry Electronics Team

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