Permanent Task Group on Climate Change

  • Chairperson: Mr Todd Bridges (USA) 
  • Countries represented include USA, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, UK, Australia, Finland, South Africa, India, Spain, France, Norway, Brazil, Austria and Japan
  • Five Partner Organisations are represented:
  1. International Association of Dredging Companies IADC
  2. International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH)
  3. International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA)
  4. International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR)
  5. Inland Navigation Europe (INE)

Mission of the PTG CC:

  • To inform PIANC on how navigation may be affected by climate change.
  • To advise PIANC on where and how adaptation and mitigation actions need to be taken so that the necessary actions and investment can be performed in a proactive way.
  • To provide a common and basic platform for all PIANC commissions to build up their work plans regarding climate change.
  • To monitor maritime navigation mitigation activities undertaken by other organisations, to disseminate information and to contribute to ongoing work where appropriate.
  • To collate and co-ordinate currently disparate information, identifying gaps and contributing to further knowledge and guidance in the area of maritime climate change adaptation.

As a first step in addressing issues related to the impact of climate change on navigation, PIANC EnviCom set up Task Group III: 'Climate Change and Navigation'. The final results of this Task Group included a written report (issued to EnviCom on April 14, 2008) and the creation of the Permanent Task Group on Climate Change (PTG CC). 

The main goal for the new cross-commission PTG CC being led by EnviCom is to inform PIANC on how navigation may be affected by climate change and where and how adaptation and mitigation actions need to be taken so that the necessary actions and investment can be performed in a proactive way. The PTG CC shall provide a common and basic platform for all PIANC commissions to build up their work plans regarding climate change. For more information on the goals of the PTG CC, see the Terms of Reference

Much work is already being undertaken by other organisations on maritime navigation mitigation. The role of the PTG CC in this respect will therefore be to monitor such activities, to disseminate information and to contribute to ongoing work where appropriate. Insofar as climate change adaptation for the maritime sector is concerned, there is a role for the PTG CC in collating and co-ordinating currently disparate information, identifying gaps and contributing to further knowledge and guidance in this area. With this in mind, the PTG CC has undertaken the task of conducting an Initial Review of all PIANC Commission Working Group reports, in order to determine which climate change issues (for both maritime and inland navigation), if any, could impact the results of the report.    

The PTG CC is also in the process of composing addendums on the potential climate change drivers that could have an impact on the results of reports related to maritime navigation adaptation, to be referenced by the pertinent reports in order to make the reader aware that climate change may impact the results. The relevant issues that are being explored with regard to maritime navigation adaptation are the following:

  • sea level
  • wind conditions
  • wave action
  • tide and surge propagation and range
  • ocean circulation and coastal hydrodynamics
  • coastal and estuarine morphology
  • storm events
  • sea chemistry
  • designated environmentally protected areas
  • ice conditions
  • icing
  • seasonal precipitation, water levels and water supply
  • water temperature
  • frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events
  • modifications to river morphology
  • ice and snow cover 

With regard to inland navigation, there is currently little dedicated co-ordination at a global level. The PTG CC will therefore take a lead in investigating, collating and promoting both mitigation and adaptation solutions and providing guidance accordingly. Similar to its activities related to maritime adaptation and in addition to the initial Working Group report review, the PTG CC has come up with a list of the potential climate change drivers that could have an impact on the results of each report related to inland navigation, along with addendums to be referenced by the appropriate reports. The relevant issues that are being explored with regard to inland navigation adaptation are the following:

  • seasonal precipitation, water levels and water supply
  • water temperature
  • frequency and intensity of extreme hydrological events
  • modifications to river morphology
  • ice and snow cover