Navigating a Changing Climate

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


Provide a platform to share knowledge and provide technical support to the owners, operators and users of waterborne transport infrastructure, enabling them to:

  • 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 infrastructure
  • Seek integrated and sustainable solutions, with an emphasis on Working with Nature

The Navigating a Changing Climate partners are 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: the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC), International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), International Harbour Masters’ Association (IHMA), International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA), European Dredging Association (EuDA), European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO), the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), Smart Freight Centre (SFC) and Inland Waterways international (IWI).

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 mitigation/adaptation approaches
  • Enhancing adaptive capacity
  • Strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability
  • Dissemination of good practice; capacity building

Scale: global, transferable initiative

Specific: defined targets and milestones

Transparent: see website and section on monitoring below

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

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

Activities of the Initiative


  • In addition to the partner associations, the Navigating a Changing Climate initiative now has nearly 40 supporter organisations who have committed to contributing to the partners’ objectives

Capacity building:

  • Climate change was a key topic at two NaCC partner conferences in 2018: IHMA’s conference in London in June and IWI’s conference in Ireland in September
  • In March 2018, partner IAPH launched its World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP), including workstreams on climate & energy and on resilient infrastructure
  • The World Ports Climate Action Program, a WPSP-supported initiative focused on climate change mitigation, was launched in September 2018 on the occasion of the Global Climate Action Summit
  • ESPO’s EcoPorts network, including mitigation and adaptation, reached almost 100 ports in 2018

Knowledge development:

  • The digital port-call optimisation initiative promoted by IHMA is becoming a reality, with adoption by Port of Rotterdam amongst others, leading to improved efficiency and reduced emissions
  • Incentive schemes/green charging of ports to reward front runners and improve shipping companies’ market reputation are increasingly implemented
  • SFC announced the integration of more detailed methodologies for inland waterways and logistics sites (including maritime and inland terminals) into the update of the GLEC Framework due in 2019
  • The EU Interreg NWE Green WIN project first met in November 2018. Led by Canal and River Trust and involving other IWI members, this will reduce carbon emissions from waterway pumping
  • PIANC’s Working Group report on Carbon Management is now in the publication pipeline

Monitoring and reporting:

  • A survey on the costs and consequences of extreme weather events for ports and inland waterways will be launched by the partners in late 2018
  • The Navigating a Changing Climate Action Plan is being updated by PIANC to incorporate progress made by the partner associations in 2018, following partner meetings in March and September
Upcoming events

Focal Point

Jan Brooke,