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Press Release: Japanese Port Capital Investment Required for Successful Climate Change Adaption
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Download the press release here.

Contacts:
Rachel Schutte, Tel: +81-45-221-2332, E-mail: schutte@ias.unu.edu
Miguel Esteban, Tel: +81-45-221-2342, E-mail: esteban@ias.unu.edu
UNU and other experts are available for interviews.

Japanese Port Capital Investment Required
for Successful Climate Change Adaption
 

Copenhagen, Denmark – 10 March 2009. The rise of sea temperatures due to climate change could result in an increase in the frequency and intensity of typhoons.[i] Of the ten most economically damaging natural disasters in Asia over the last three decades, eight were due to typhoons in Japan.[ii] More severe typhoons combined with the loss in productivity due to downtime in the public transportation system or other important industries, such as ports and harbours, could have a negative economic impact on Japan.

As an island state heavily reliant on trade (28.8% of total GDP trade-related), Japan’s economic growth is dependent on its port infrastructure (Real Port Capital Stock (RPCS)).[iii] An increase in typhoons intensity could lead to a decrease in Japanese GDP if heavy investments are not made in port infrastructure, argues Miguel Esteban, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies. Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained winds speed higher than 30 knots (55.56 km/h) cause a precautionary cessation of many human activities, especially in ports and harbours. If the intensity of typhoons increases, port downtime alone could lead to a 3.4% decrease in Japanese GDP if an additional investment is not made of up to 127.9 billion Yen (over 1 billion EUR) in port infrastructure by the year 2085.[iv]

Port planners must therefore factor in a possible increase in storm intensity due to global warming when designing port capacities, which must be able to prevent delays and increased downtime due to winds and rain, and sea defenses which can limit damage caused by waves. Failure to do so could lead to bottlenecks in the shipments of products and constrain Japanese economic growth.

For more information, visit: http://climatecongress.ku.dk/newsroom/mitigation_growth_development/

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Established by the U.N. General Assembly, UNU is an international community of scholars engaged in research, advanced training and the dissemination of knowledge related to pressing global problems. Activities focus mainly on peace and conflict resolution, sustainable development and the use of science and technology to advance human welfare. The University operates a worldwide network of research and post-graduate training centres, with headquarters in Tokyo.

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Fig. 1: average hours that different regions of Japan can be expected to be affected by 30 knot winds for both the control and future climate change scenarios. Scenario A and B differ because of the relationship between maximum wind speed and typhoon area.



Fig. 2. GDP Loss in 2085 due to an increase in expected downtime


See commentary on the  Consequences for the Japanese Economy of an Increase in Typhoon Intensity due to Climate Change

Download as document as a .pdf




For related press coverage, see: http://www.ias.unu.edu/sub_page.aspx?catID=35&ddlID=841

http://climatecongress.ku.dk/newsroom/mitigation_growth_development/

http://www.ias.unu.edu/resource_centre/UNU-IAS%20Press%20Release_Japanese%20Port%20Capital%20Investment.pdf

Scientific climate summit ends with calls for more action: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/259665,scientific-climate-summit-ends-with-calls-for-more-action.html

Climate scientists warn of economic pitfalls of inaction: http://www.cphpost.dk/climate/91-climate/45043-climate-scientists-warn-of-economic-pitfalls-of-inaction.html

Fighting global warming offers growth and development opportunities: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/03/12/fighting.global.warming.offers.growth.and.development.opportunities

Fighting global warming offers growth and development opportunities - Leading economist proposes "Climate Marshall Plan": http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=56078&CultureCode=en

Fighting Global Warming Offers Growth And Development Opportunities, Leading Economist Proposes: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312093918.htm

Fighting Global Warming Offers Growth And Development Opportunities, Leading Economist Proposes: http://www.climateark.org/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=121186

Fighting Global Warming Offers Growth And Development Opportunities, Leading Economist Proposes: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312093918.htm

Advarsel: Megaregning for manglende klimatiltag: http://www.berlingske.dk/article/20090312/klima/703120144/

Japanese Port Capital Investment Required For Successful Climate Change Adaptation: http://www.maximsnews.com/news20090316japanportsunu10903160801.htm

Un Piano Marshall climatico per sfruttare tutte le possibilità di sviluppo della lotta al global warming: http://www.greenreport.it/contenuti/leggi.php?id_cont=18517

Climate summit ends with calls for more action: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/sci-tech/climate-summit-ends-with-calls-for-more-action_100165831.html

Fighting Global Warming Offers Growth And Development Opportunities, Leading Economist Proposes: http://www.ecoearth.info/shared/reader/welcome.aspx?linkid=121186

Cambridge economist calls for a ’Climate Marshal Plan’: http://www.naturalchoices.co.uk/Cambridge-economist-calls-for-a?id_mot=2

International Scientific Congress on Climate Change: Day 3 - Opportunities in a "Climate Marshall Plan": http://www.globalwarmingisreal.com/blog/

Malta might need to strengthen its harbours against stronger storms: http://www.maltamediaonline.com/?p=5942





[i] Nordhaus, 2006.
[ii] Munich Re.
[iii] Kawakami and Doi, 2004.
[iv] See Figure 1.

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