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News / Comment

NEWS / Conference: Moving towards low carbon and resilient waterborne transport infrastructure
Category: Latest News, Transport & Communications

Image: PIANC conference.

This major international conference, dedicated to the interests of waterborne transport infrastructure owners, operators and users, is being organised by the PIANC-led Think Climate coalition. Acclimatise is a supporter of the coalition.

Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015, world leaders will meet again in November 2016 in Marrakech, Morocco. The Paris Agreement addressing greenhouses gas emissions, adaptation and finance flows will come into force at that meeting. In the meantime, extreme weather events that are increasingly linked to the changing climate continue to be experienced by ports and navigation authorities across the globe.

Climate change is an important and growing focus of attention. Coming years are likely to see massive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors: navigation infrastructure is no exception. And even if the Paris Agreement succeeds in limiting warming, it is widely agreed that continuing change in certain climate parameters is unavoidable. Resilience will need to be strengthened and waterborne transport infrastructure will need to adapt. Preparedness will be critical.



The conference will have three main themes, reflecting the work streams in the Navigating a Changing Climate Action Plan:

  • MITIGATION: reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving towards low- or no-carbon navigation infrastructure

  • ADAPTATION: strengthening resilience and adapting waterborne transport infrastructure to projected changes in sea level, storminess, precipitation, river flow, air and water temperature, waves, wind, fog and other climate parameters

  • INTEGRATION: opportunities to contribute to climate change mitigation or adaptation by supporting intermodality, Working with Nature or integrated coastal management.



The conference programme covers three themes: climate change mitigation, adaptation, and integration. 

For each theme, the conference organisers have invited a range of speakers, representing all parts of the waterborne transport infrastructure sector:

  • international organisations and funding agencies

  • policy makers and practitioners

  • ports and inland waterways

  • operators and advisors

In addition to the full presentations (confirmed speakers shown below), there will be a series of mini-presentations on the conference themes. These ‘5x5x5’ sessions will enable a broader range of topics to be covered over the two days, and those attending the site visit to the Port of Zeebrugge will have an opportunity to hear from other speakers. 

The conference is therefore designed to maximise delegates’ opportunity to learn about good practice and to exchange experiences with the organisations leading the way in Navigating the Changing Climate.

This draft programme will be updated as other speakers confirm their participation and as sponsors and exhibitors sign up, so please keep an eye on this page over the coming weeks.


Site Visit to Port of Zeebrugge

As part of the conference, delegates will have the opportunity to visit the Port of Zeebrugge on the Belgian coast on 29 March 2017. The Port Authority and the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) have kindly provided sponsorship, so there is no cost for conference delegates wishing to take part in this one-day site visit. However, places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

To reserve your place on the site visit, please complete the relevant section of the conference registration form. 



Registration is now open!

Rate: € 540.00

Download Registration Flyer (PDF)


Opportunities for exhibitors

As part of this exciting event, PIANC is pleased to offer a limited number of exhibition spaces.

  • Organisations will have the opportunity to promote relevant products and services as part of an exhibition that will take place within the area used for lunches, refreshments, the reception, and other conference activities where there will be a high footfall.

  • The exhibition will only be ‘live’ before and after the conference and during the breaks. The fee for exhibitors therefore allows one person responsible for the exhibition to participate in the conference.


Date and location

27 March to 28 March, 2017 at Crown Plaza Brussels - Le Palace.