Recommendations for EU climate change adaptation strategy

02 September 2020

The inland waterway transport (IWT) sector is a foundational part of the European logistics network. As such, IWT operates at a cross-border level, with waterway infrastructure and ports supporting the sector. This enables the sector to service a wide range of businesses and segments of the economy, touching the lives of all Europeans.

Droughts, heavy rainfall and other extreme weather are becoming more frequent due to climate change. This is impacting IWT, leading to a reverse modal shift and a loss of jobs in the European economy. Inland waterways and ports are critical infrastructure for IWT but if they are ill-prepared to climate change, it negatively affects supply chains across Europe.

IWT has the capacity to adapt to changing weather situations as it has shown in the past. Currently, fragmented actions are already being taken. However, given the scale of climate change, there is a need for a comprehensive, innovative and European-wide action plan integrated in the wider European Climate Adaptation Strategy.

Increasing climate preparedness requires EU action in the following areas:

  • Support research and development
  • Foster smart solutions
  • Enhance Dialogue and coordination
  • Mainstream Climate Proofing in European legislation
  • Create Fit-for-Future Infrastructure