As the state of the environment becomes more dire, world governments are creating initiatives to curb harmful emissions and reduce humans’ adverse effects on the planet. Several of these initiatives seek to reform infrastructure that might suffer the most from the impacts of climate change.
These sectors rely on stable weather patterns to operate at maximum efficiency. Many are crucial to worldwide operations, such as trade, transportation and agriculture. Therefore, it is essential to prepare them for the drastic situations climate change might bring.
Make Oceanic Transportation More Resilient
Many industries that make up the backbone of the world’s modern infrastructure can be significantly affected by the disasters climate change can bring. Studies show climate change is directly responsible for extreme weather conditions and frequent natural disasters.
Extreme weather conditions can disrupt transportation and world trade by extension. Oceanic shipping is still considered the backbone of the commercial shipping industry. Many essential goods travel from one country to another on large shipping vessels.
The effects of extreme weather conditions are more significant out in the ocean. Storms and hurricanes can disrupt worldwide trade, delaying the arrival of much-needed goods. Therefore, shipping companies must invest in climate-resilient and eco-friendly technologies.
The Clydebank Declaration for Green Shipping Corridors is one such solution. This is a key initiative to reduce carbon emissions in the oceanic transportation and maritime trade sectors. This involves investing in “green corridor” technologies that will reduce the harmful emissions of shipping vessels.
The declaration also seeks to prepare measures to protect ports and docks against the effects of extreme weather. Ports will serve as hubs for clean energy systems that power vessels running on green corridor technology.
Invest in New Construction Technologies
Extreme weather — natural disasters especially — profoundly affect the construction sector. The increased frequency of hurricanes and more powerful storms have devastated towns and cities — particularly those off the coast and near oceans.
One of the reasons buildings are so vulnerable to natural disasters is they were constructed using outdated building codes. They were not built with the effects of natural disasters in mind.
Therefore, the best way to prepare new buildings for natural disasters is to update these codes to use more modern building methods and materials. Older buildings should also be retrofitted with more modern structural technology to make them more resistant to dangerous weather conditions.
In addition, using eco-friendly construction materials can make buildings more resilient and eco-friendly at the same time. Implementing modern technologies such as water filtration systems will make residential and commercial structures more sustainable.
Make Air Travel and Transportation More Adaptable
Next to ocean shipping, air transportation and travel are one of the most critical sectors of global infrastructure. Studies show 3,781 million people traveled by air last year. In addition, air transportation is responsible for 35% of all worldwide trade.
Like oceanic shipping, the air transportation and travel industry is just as affected by extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Severe weather often disrupts air traffic patterns, making it difficult or impossible to fly to destinations safely.
Because each airport’s needs differ depending on its location and the resources available, they should create a resilience planning committee. This committee aims to discuss and draft a plan for climate change resilience that meets the unique needs of the airport and other factors.
Commercial airplanes and airports should be able to adapt to changing conditions such as snow and ice. In addition, increased rainfall can significantly inhibit an airport’s ability to operate.
Resilience inspections for airports and airplanes should be conducted regularly to ensure they can perform at their peak, even during extreme weather.
Many airports — especially those on small islands — are next to large bodies of water. Climate change causes greater precipitation and rising sea levels, so these areas will be in grave danger. Airports in this situation might have to relocate to a more landlocked area.
Key Infrastructure Must Prepare For Climate Change
As climate change’s effects worsen, key infrastructure points must adapt to continue operations. Extreme weather conditions and greater frequency of natural disasters are becoming the norm. Infrastructure must be able to withstand these to continue modern living standards.