21 June 2022

How Climate Intelligence (CI) can inform the creation of resilient infrastructure


By Cervest

How Climate Intelligence (CI) can inform the creation of resilient infrastructure

Climate Intelligence (CI) is a pivotal part of national infrastructure design, creation, and maintenance throughout the escalating climate crisis. Ports and airports, roads and railways, and wastewater management systems need a meticulous redesign to be resilient during the climate challenges ahead. Read on to find out how CI benefits professionals involved in planning and maintaining critical infrastructure - informing their decisions and ensuring core facilities are protected.

Extreme weather is intensifying around the world: increased temperatures and heatwaves, droughts, floods, and rising sea levels. As the AR6 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights in no uncertain terms – climate change is real and happening now.

According to a McKinsey study, without significant decarbonization, temperatures will continue to rise above preindustrial levels and McKinsey’s year-long research on climate risk and response clearly illustrates this climate shift: “Global average temperatures are expected to increase between 1.5 and 5 degrees Celsius relative to today in many locations by 2050.”

The Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction also shares some sobering data. Extreme weather has affected more than four billion people globally and caused 600,000 deaths – costing almost $1.9 trillion in economic losses. Climate change is an urgent global issue.

How does climate change impact critical infrastructure?

Critical infrastructure is extremely vulnerable to the results of climate change, yet key to our resilience. How we plan, build, and design core infrastructures such as roads and railways, airports and ports, and wastewater management systems must adapt with climate change. Utilizing Climate Intelligence (CI) when mapping and creating our everyday infrastructure is of the utmost importance.

Climate volatility means our infrastructure needs to be reassessed for security: it’s time to transform physical infrastructure in the face of hazardous climate change. Adapting our planning and construction techniques is vital in order to function safely and consistently. Our communities and economies require it.

Existing infrastructure is linked to more than 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions, so not only do we need to make changes to ensure climate volatility doesn't impact us in the future, we must stop creating more problems. Making changes now is essential for the bigger picture.

A more severe climate means that previously resilient designs now need to be comprehensively risk-assessed and gaining asset-level intelligence is crucial when informing this overhaul. There are two serious risks: shocks (extreme weather such as heatwaves or floods) and stresses (long-term, damaging conditions). An impact in one sector can result in damage to several sectors including loss of resources, risks to safety and health, or loss of productivity or revenue. Building design needs to be intuitive and fit for future climate events – investing in this is crucial.

Using Climate Intelligence to create resilient infrastructure

How can we start the process of creating resilient infrastructure? Accessing Climate Intelligence (CI) is the first step. Designed for decision-making, CI is asset-level intelligence on climate risk that can help the sector make informed decisions. CI can help to educate infrastructure professionals by discovering and auditing climate risks, engaging stakeholders and assuring investors, reporting, and monitoring changing risks.

Whatever your role in infrastructure solutions, our ebook is a complete guide on using Climate Intelligence for resilient design. It covers climate change risks to infrastructure, highlights why focusing on climate resilience is key, explains how CI benefits organizations and acts as a step-by-step guide on your individual CI path.

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