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The joint United Nations Economic Commission for Europe – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Workshop on “Climate Change Impacts on International Transport Networks” held under the auspices of the Working Party on Transport Trends and Economics (WP.5) in September 2010 raised awareness about the important challenges that climate change impacts and adaptation requirements present for international transport networks. This complex set of issues has so far received little attention.

The workshop highlighted that while transport is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions it is, at the same time, heavily affected by the impacts of climate change. This workshop demonstrated the urgent need to prepare appropriate policy actions, as well as the need to exchange information about best practices and concluded that there is considerable merit in establishing a new expert group to study the matter.

At its seventy-third session, in March 2011, the Inland Transport Committee noting the results of the joint UNECE-UNCTAD workshop, agreed to establish a Group of Experts on climate change impacts and adaptation for international transport networks and to adopt its terms of reference. The UNECE Executive Committee at its forty-first meeting, in May 2011, approved the establishment of such an expert group. The Group of Experts is expected to complete its work and submit a final report within two years (May 2013).