Ports of the State and Valenciaport Foundation present the conclusions of the European project Ecclipse
· The European project ECCLIPSE develops early prediction tools and models that will allow ports to adapt to the effects of climate change.
· It changes the paradigm in port infrastructure design: "We will have to design for the future climate"
26-04-2023 (Spanish State Ports Public Body). The president of Puertos del Estado (Spanish State Ports), Álvaro Rodríguez, together with the director of the Port Authority of Valencia, Francesc Sánchez, and the director of Interreg Sudoe, Isabelle Roger, presented the conference dedicated to "The challenges of the ports to adapt to climate change" which was held at the headquarters of Puertos del Estado in Madrid. During the conference, the results were also presented of the European project ECCLIPSE-Evaluation of climate change in ports in Southwest Europe, co-financed by the European Commission through the Interreg V-B Southwest Europe Programme and led by the Valenciaport Foundation. The main objective of the project is to analyse the impact of climate change on ports, developing early prediction tools and models that allow a thorough understanding of its impact on a local scale.
Depending on the location of each port, climate change will trigger more or less extreme environmental conditions, which could lead to total or partial closure of operations. Industry, commodity distribution centres, producers and ultimately consumers would be largely affected. The development of an effective adaptation strategy requires tools that will enable a thorough understanding of the impacts of climate change on a local level, as opposed to current models with a broad global and temporal range.
Under the coordination of the Valenciaport Foundation and with the participation of the Port Authorities of Aveiro, Bordeaux and Valencia, Puertos del Estado, the Foundation for Climate Research, HIDROMOD and CEREMA, models have been developed to predict the effects of climate change. In close cooperation with the port community, the vulnerabilities of each port to the impacts of climate change have been analysed. The fundamental objective was to have port adaptation measures included in their development strategies, which would ensure that at least 80% of the logistics chain remains operational in the event of any extreme weather event.
The day began with the presentation of the National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change by Antonio Francisco López Nicolás, Head of Section of the Spanish Climate Change Office. Antonio Góngora, Deputy Director of Connectivity, Sustainability and Physical Environment of Puertos del Estado, then presented the criteria for the development of the strategy of the state-owned port system in terms of adaptation to climate change. Within this strategy, the ECCLIPSE project is a pilot test that has been successfully developed in the ports of Valencia, Sagunto and Gandia.
Mercedes de Juan Muñoyerro, head of Projects at the Valenciaport Foundation and coordinator of ECCLIPSE, then presented the methodology developed within the framework of the project and the main conclusions reached after applying this methodology in five ports of very different types.
The day's speakers were top-level experts such as José María García-Valdecasas, from NOLOGIN; José Chambel from Hidromod; Nicolas Huybrechts from CEREMA; César Parádinas, Consultant at the Foundation for Climate Research.
Finally, Raúl Cascajo, Head of Environmental Policies of the Port Authority of Valencia; María Manuel Cruz, Director of Environment of the Port of Aveiro and Fabrice Klein, from the Mission Innovation team of the Port of Bordeaux, presented the main results obtained in each port.
One of the main conclusions of this project is the paradigm change in the design of port infrastructures. Until now, these infrastructures were designed with the "past" climate in mind, but now they will have to be designed for the "future" climate. The importance of monitoring the impacts of climate change was also been emphasised. To this end, observatories have been set up in each port to validate the models for predicting the impacts of climate change developed in the project, to update the evolution of vulnerabilities in each of the ports and to have data available to define the adaptation itinerary.
The progress made in the ECCLIPSE project will contribute to the development of the goals set for adaptation to climate change in the new Strategic Framework of the Port System of general interest, such as the approval of the Adaptation Plans of all ports and the establishment of a Port Climate Change Observatory.
The event was brought to a close by the director of the Valenciaport Foundation, Antonio Torregrosa, who considered the event to be very useful, in that it will make it possible for port infrastructures of the future to be safer and more durable.