Building infrastructure systems resilience

Satellite view of the Earth

Credit: Getty

Rises in global temperatures mean that adapting to the impacts of climate change has never been more essential.

Research undertaken at the EPSRC-funded Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) is providing critical information to make infrastructure systems from energy and transport, to water and telecommunications, more resilient.

Using information on climate hazards, geospatial data about the locations of infrastructure systems and economic modelling of the impacts of infrastructure failure, researchers have been able to pinpoint climate risks to infrastructure systems using ‘heatmaps’.

Heatmap of Southeast Asia

Credit: The University of Oxford for World Bank

Heatmaps show where climate change could have the greatest impact upon infrastructure systems (see image left for Southeast Asia). This information is then used to prioritise adaptations in infrastructure systems, including nature-based solutions which can enhance the resilience of infrastructure services.

The result is that it helps investors to understand physical climate risks to their infrastructure assets; businesses to ensure the resilience of their supply chains; and insurers to provide disaster risk finance and insurance that can accelerate recovery after a climate-related shock.

Professor Jim Hall at the ITRC said:

This collaborative research will help ensure that infrastructure systems around the world can adapt and respond to climate change threats.

The research is now being taken forward as part of the UKRI-funded Centre for Greening Finance and Investment, the UK’s Foreign Development and Commonwealth Office funded Climate Compatible Growth research programme and as part of several major global collaborations

Last updated: 2 July 2021

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