Climate Change


Extract from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report 2012

As a sea-land interface and a point of convergence between various modes of transport, ports act as gateways to trade, providing access to global markets for all countries.

With over eighty per cent of global merchandise trade by volume and more than seventy per cent by value being seaborne, ports constitute key nodes in the global supply chain.

Against a background of compelling scientific evidence about climate change and concerns about its potential economic impacts, the issue has moved to the forefront of the international agenda as one of the “greatest challenges of our time”.

More recent scientific findings indicate that matters may be worse than previously thought, with forecasts about global warming, sea-level rise and the intensity and frequency of extreme climatic events exceeding earlier predictions.

In relation to ports and related coastal infrastructure, coastal protection measures may play an important role as part of a broader adaptation strategy. At the same time, however, effective adaptation for global ports will require a range of well-targeted interventions to enhance the resilience of ports and their hinterland connections through changes in infrastructure design and maintenance, operations, planning and management. Planning for known impacts and timely risk-assessment will play an important part of any strategy to enhance resilience with a view to reducing the long-term impacts and costs associated with climate change. Stakeholders and policy makers involved in port planning, development and operations will need to take into account the effects of climate change in their decision making and planning processes.


Climate change is an additional dynamic force emerging as a key challenge for the freight logistics sector. As climate change gathers momentum, the responses of government, the market and the elements will all converge to fundamentally reshape the operating environment of the national logistics network.

The key challenge now is to plan for solutions that can provide cleaner transport options that assist to lower pollution emissions within the freight logistics sector. With freight emissions now contributing to some four per cent of Australia’s national emissions total and with forecasts predicting freight emissions to more than treble to thirteen point five per cent (13.5%) by 2020, it is imperative that we act immediately and in a decisive manner to arrest the situation.