Climate risk and business: ports - terminal maritimo Muelles el Bosque Cartagena, Colombia

Climate Risk and Business
Learn|Finance|Oceans|Water|Partner News

Physical infrastructure at ports and port activities may be highly vulnerable to changes in climate. For instance, the risks could manifest through changes in the level or patterns of shipping, increased flooding affecting movements within ports and causing damage to goods stored, reduced navigability of access channels and business interruption. Some ports will also see opportunities as a result of climate change. A port's reputation for reliability is key to its success, so ports that are more resilient to disruption from climate events should fare better. Changes in trade flows driven by climate change will also see winners and losers. To understand the significance of these risks for a given port, this study assesses risks and opportunities for ports in general, and specifically for IFC's client, Terminal Marítimo Muelles el Bosque (MEB), in Cartagena, Colombia. The report presents the outcomes of an assessment of the potential risks and opportunities from climate change for MEB, along with analyses of climate-resilient actions that the company can consider. The study presents climate risks and opportunities across MEB's activities. Some of the risks are related to the design and operation of the port (e.g. its vulnerability to sea level rise). In these cases, MEB was often able to provide detailed data about the port, which provided a sound basis for the assessments. Analyses of other risks (e.g. potential impacts of climate change on the global economy and consequences for trade through the port) were more challenging, due to the many interactions between future climates, social and economic factors. In these cases, the study drew upon the climate change literature, aiming to present a synthesis of the latest research, drawing out its relevance to MEB. With the rapid evolution of scientific knowledge about climate change and its impacts, some of the uncertainties that were found in this study should be resolved or better characterized in the near future.

Credit: Vladimir Stenek, IFC, The World Bank