Shipping could pay a high price for climate changes

Drought, floods and rising sea-levels could constitute challenges to shipping in the future. Inland shipping could be forced to use smaller vessels, while the waterways will be traversable for fewer days of the year, according to findings in a new report.

Photo: Hanjin

We are already today seeing examples of extreme weather, and the future likely holds even more. Drought, floods and powerful storms, all of which are the results of climate changes, and these climate changes also look set to change the conditions for numerous players in shipping.

The NGO BSR has published a new report together with several institutes at Cambridge and the European Climate (ECF) which looks at how the changing climate could affect the transport sector, including shipping. The changes could for instance force carriers and other shipping companies to use smaller vessels for inland shipping, such as in the Rhine in Germany or through the Great Lakes in North America. And this will lead to rising costs, according to the report. Other waterways will be affected by lower sea-levels, and will therefore be traversable for fewer days of the year than they are now.

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