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The DP World study on climate change risk covered various scenarios at its network of ports and terminals. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The Dubai owned ports operator DP World has mapped out a climate challenge that its operations could face – not just for now or the next 5 years, but all the way to the end of this century.

The study, done in tandem with Juniper Intelligence and Guidehouse, goes into three particular climate case scenarios ranging from low to high carbon intensity. It also assessed the potential impact from six hazards - floods, rain, wind, heat, cold and hail - across 50 ports and terminals around the world.

DP World’s found that the current direct physical climate risk to its network of ports and terminals was ‘minimal’ at less than 0.4 per cent of its 2021 revenues from these.

The risk is expected to ‘remain stable until around 2050’ – just as many countries hope to reach their net carbon zero targets.

Beyond 2050, particularly under a high-carbon scenario, a ‘more complex picture emerges, with increased risks as rising sea levels, flooding and extreme heat pose greater challenges’.

“Given the long-term nature of our industry, we strongly support adopting a forward-looking, data-driven approach to tackle upcoming challenges," said Tiemen Meester, Group Chief Operating Officer, Ports & Terminals, DP World. "While being mindful that it is our collective responsibility to ensure that the carbon scenario is kept to the lowest possible level."

Build up defenses to climate risks
DP World’s existing ports and terminals are already designed to withstand certain climate-related challenges. The Dubai company also takes 'climate into consideration during the design, master-planning and construction of new terminals or refurbishing existing terminals'.

Make practical decisions

DP World plans to make ‘better investment decisions’ based on the findings, deemed as critical for major projects such as the new 2.19 million TEU/year container terminal at Tuna Tekra in India.

The climate risk data will help ‘improve the understanding of a range of issues, from how high to build quay walls all the way down to how much additional electrical load will be required to handle the demand for air conditioning due to extreme heat episodes’.

"Trade will be vital for the world’s continued economic success, so taking proactive steps today to evaluate and manage the risks associated with climate change is paramount," said Meester. "Advances in climate modelling can significantly enhance private sector involvement in building resilience, promoting a sustainable and strong future for global trade."