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International Conference "Raising awareness on adaptation of transport infrastructure to climate change impacts"

18 - 19 November 2019

Programme (PDF)

Information for participants

The Conference was held in the Eugenides Foundation Conference Center, in Athens, Greece, on 18-19 November 2019.

Background

Inland transport networks and nodes (roads, railways, waterways, intermodal terminals / logistics centres, ports) are instrumental to the safe, efficient and reliable movements of people to their destinations and goods to market. Transportation plays a significant role in supporting local, national and regional economies. Medium to longer-term disruptions to these networks and nodes may lead to adverse economic and social effects. 

Extreme weather events, some of which are increasing in intensity and frequency, as well as slower onset climate changes (for example, sea level rise) and cumulative effects can result in transportation infrastructure damages, operational disruptions, and pressures on supply chain capacity and efficiency. 

These disruptions can be prevented if future climate change impacts are assessed and relevant adaptation measures implemented at the sections of roads, railways, waterways or at terminals or ports. 

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Group of Experts on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation for Transport Networks and Nodes (the Group of Experts) has been analysing the impacts of climate change on main transport assets in the UNECE region since 2010. The Group of Experts prepared a study containing this analysis. The Group of Experts recommended that its report is widely shared and that, with its support, awareness is raised about the importance of work aimed at preventing disruptions transport networks and nodes from climate change. 

In this context, UNECE supported by and the Hellenic Logistics Association and other partners,  organized an International Conference for raising awareness about the urgency of assessing climate change impacts on transportation systems and of identifying cost-effective adaptation measures.

Objective

The Conference’s objective was to raise awareness of transport experts from UNECE countries and other countries on effective use of climate projections to assessing future climate impacts on transportation systems in order to identify necessary and cost-effective adaptation measures for preventing future transport disruptions.

More specifically, the Conference was to discuss: 

  1. climate change trends and projections and expected implications from climate change on transportation systems, and 
  2. use of available climate projections, as well as methods and methodologies to assessing climate impacts and identifying transportation ‘hot-spots’. 

The Conference also shared experience and knowledge available in the countries in assessing future climate impacts on transportation systems and in assessing and/or preventing socioeconomic impacts from climate change on transportation systems.  

Target audience

The Conference brought together government officials engaged in the management of transport infrastructure and operations, road, rail, inland waterways, intermodal terminals and ports authorities and those dealing with climate change impact assessments, private sector practitioners, experts from international organisations as well as experts from academia from UNECE region and beyond. 

See also the regional maps available on the online GIS tool

 

Presentations

Climate Change is here and the Impact on Roadways should not be ignored!
(Bill M. Halkias, International Road Federation)

Development of a Climate Adaptation Strategy for the InnovA58 highway in the Netherlands
(Mark de Bel, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management)

PKP PLK climate change adaptation strategy
(PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe S.A.)

Climate change impacts and adaptation for international transport networks - key issues and UNCTAD work
(Regina Asariotis, UNCTAD)

International and nationalfuture work
(UNECE secretariat)

The UNFCCC process: focus on adaptation in transport
(Walters Tubua, UNFCCC)

Observed and Projected Impacts from Climate Change on Transportation Systems
(A.F. Velegrakis, University of the Aegean)

Climate, climate change, their impact and resilience building
(Boram Lee, WMO)

Lessons Learned on Assessing Climate Risk
(Elizabeth Smalley, Transport Canada)

Challenges from Climate Change to All Season Roads in Canada
(Lukas Arenson, Transport Canada)

Impacts of climate change on inland waterways and ports
(Aris Christodoulou, European Commission DG Joint Research Centre)

Climate change and adaptation: Greek coastal areas and transport infrastructure
(Harry Coccossis, University of Thessaly)

Sea level changes: guidelines and adapation plan for ports and other coastal infrastructure
(Ásta Þorleifsdóttir, Ministry of transport and local government, Iceland)

Is it possible to be ready for climate change in terms of our roads?
(Leyla Ünal, General Directorate of Turkish Highways, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey)