Adapting Transport to Climate Change and Extreme Weather

Implications for Infrastructure Owners and Network Managers

image of Adapting Transport to Climate Change and Extreme Weather

This report addresses the fundamental challenges that climate change poses to infrastructure owners, who face two major challenges. First, they must ensure continued asset performance under sometimes significantly modified climate conditions that may decrease the present value of their networks or increase maintenance and refurbishment costs. Second, they must build new assets in the context of changing and uncertain climate variables. This creates a risk of over- or under-specification of infrastructure design standards, potentially resulting in non-productive investments or network service degradation. This report investigates strategies that can help transport authorities contain network performance risks inherent in changing patterns of extreme weather.




International Transport Forum

Transport infrastructure represents a significant sunken public and private investment that is fundamental to the functioning of society. These assets are often long-lived and, if regularly maintained, are designed to deliver specified and predictable services over their entire lifetime. Hazards that may degrade asset performance or interrupt network services are generally well-known and are accounted for in transport infrastructure, network planning and design. Thus, even though the natural variability of extreme weather events have sometimes caused significant disruption, these risks were knowable and their impacts have historically been mitigated. With climate change, this is no longer true. This report reviews the range of threats to transport system performance that are posed by climate change and provides guidance to transportation asset owners and network managers to help ensure asset integrity and contribute to continued network performance.


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