Towards a Comprehensive Climate Adaptation Framework for India’s Port Infrastructure and Operations: Lessons from Global Best Practices

Pushp Bajaj, Chime Youdon
The ever-growing impacts of climate change such as extreme heat, more frequent heavy precipitation events, intensifying tropical revolving storms, and sea level rise continue to pose major threats to India’s critical maritime infrastructure. As the country moves towards its ambition of becoming a leading Blue Economy of the world, a wide range of initiatives have been taken by the central and state governments to expand the maritime sector with a specific focus on the transport sector. However, there is little emphasis being paid on protecting the existing and planned seaport infrastructure against the deleterious impacts of climate change. None of the major ports in India have a dedicated climate action strategy and climate adaptation finds no mention in the policy documents pertaining to the maritime transport sector. In this context, this paper aims to highlight the need for a comprehensive, holistic and dynamic climate change adaptation strategy for India’s port infrastructure including support infrastructure and supply chains. The adaptation strategy, at the individual ports’ level and the national level, must be preceded by rigorous risk assessment studies to identify and prioritise the major challenges arising from climate change at the local level. The paper draws upon international best practices in climate risk assessments and adaptation measures to provide a way forward for Indian ports

Keywords

Climate risk; climate adaptation; resilience; maritime sector; ports; shipping.
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