Navigating a Changing Climate

Think Climate to reduce emissions, strengthen resilience, and adapt waterborne transport infrastructure


  • Raise awareness by expanding our network and identifying new coalition partners and supporters;
  • Share knowledge and provide technical support, encourage the owners, operators and users of waterborne transport infrastructure;
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote a shift to low carbon maritime and inland navigation infrastructure;
  • Act urgently to improve preparedness; strengthen resilience; and adapt maritime and inland navigation infrastructureSeek integrated and sustainable solutions, with an emphasis on working with nature.

The coalition is committed to promoting a shift to low carbon inland and maritime navigation infrastructure; to building capacity and enhancing decision-making on mitigation and adaptation options; and to raising awareness of the need to act urgently to improve preparedness and strengthen the resilience of waterborne transport infrastructure, with an emphasis on Working with Nature.

Partners and Signatories

Partners comprise: World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC), International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), International Harbor Masters’ Association (IHMA), International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA), International Bulk Terminals Association (IBTA), European Dredging Association (EuDA), European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO), Smart Freight Centre, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) and Inland Waterways international (IWI).

The initiative has more than doubled its number of supporter organizations from 15 at the time of COP22 to 32 in 2017.

Relevance to advance the Paris Agreement goals

The initiative contributes to advancing the Paris Agreement in respect of:

Implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Conserving and enhancing natural greenhouse gas sinks

Cooperating to develop integrated, holistic, balanced non-market mitigation/adaptation approaches

Enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability

Strengthening resilience

Dissemination and capacity building

Scale: global, transferable initiative

Specific: defined targets and milestones

Transparent: see section on monitoring below

Results-oriented: focused on concrete, real-world action delivering mitigation outcomes, increased resilience, reduced vulnerability via the development of sector-specific technical resources

Ownership/capacity: driven by sector-representatives at international level

Activities of the Initiative

Outreach and coalition building:

17 new Navigating a Changing Climate supporter organizations have signed up since COP22.

Capacity building:

The initiative’s Climate conference was held in Brussels in March 2017;

Climate change mitigation and adaptation was the main theme of ESPO’s annual conference (2017) in Barcelona; and will be a key topic at IHMA’s 2018 London conference and at IMPA’s Congress in Dakar (also 2018);

Organized two technical seminars on adaptation in Brussels and New York.

Knowledge development:

The methodological framework for adaptation decision making is completed; PIANC Working Group 178 guidance on adaptation for ports and inland waterways is due for publication late 2017;

ESPO EcoPorts tools (Self Diagnosis Method SDM and Port Environmental Review System PERS) have been updated to better accommodate climate change challenges;

IHMA notes some progress on functional definitions for nautical port information, an important step to ports and ships using the same definitions, facilitating improved fuel and other efficiencies;

To date, 10 GLEC Members committed themselves to implementing the GLEC Framework, demonstrating the demand for a harmonized carbon reduction calculation and reporting process;

SFC is also upgrading and harmonizing the approach to terminal emissions; aligning with the ports sector; and improving the approach for inland water transport.

Monitoring and reporting:

The Navigating a Changing Climate Action Plan was/ will be monitored and progress against actions reported in February and September 2017.  An updated Action Plan is due before COP23.

Focal Point

Jan Brooke,