University of Tasmania
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The impact of climate change on the future of Pacific maritime supply chains, seaports and shipping : how stakeholders can adapt

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posted on 2023-05-28, 10:00 authored by Dyer, JA
What will climate change really mean for a world increasingly dependent upon seaborne trade, globalisation and supply chains? How much will it cost? Do we retreat; adapt or surrender? For the Pacific, virtually all economic activity and development, key stakeholders and physical survival are vulnerable to this increasingly significant risk affecting the continuance and future of seaports, shipping, coastal ecosystems and communities. This study aims to achieve insights into resolving climate change uncertainty for maritime supply chains and stakeholders. It considers three key questions, the first being to identify the current and projected future disruption risks for Pacific Island maritime supply chains from the consequences of climate change. Secondly it assesses the economic impacts of these risks, and thirdly it proposes how key supply chain stakeholders can adapt to minimise the economic impacts. This study's research methodology identifies and evaluates projected risks, impact costs, constraints to adaptation and adaptation solutions for both individual maritime supply chain (MSC) stages and across an entire supply chain system. It proposes an original multi-stage synthesised research methodology combining these factors through field research case studies using both qualitative and quantitative methods combining direct stakeholder consultation, risk and vulnerability assessments and an impact cost analysis model. It recommends an empirical risk and impact cost data approach. It provides a Pacific MSC study via the Cook Islands as its specific empirical contribution; validating this method and the need to prioritise climateproofing adaptation strategies. The key findings showed the significance of stakeholder risk perceptions as influencing the extent of awareness, impact costs experienced and adaptation. Qualitative content analysis found local stakeholders perceived themselves well aware of climate change awareness, impacts and solutions They identified the significance of effective information, legislation, psychology, access to funding and investing in eco-capital as imperative for transforming risks into climateproofed opportunities. Triangulation of results provided the first complete, time-series data for risk events for the Cook Islands from 1900-2015. The study estimated future climate change as costing approximately a minimum of $139 billion. The study's key contribution is better awareness of the vulnerability, challenges, and understanding of climate change impact and adaptation solutions for MSCs; (especially in the Pacific region) to help informed decision-making and choices. It offers a commercial, supply chain stakeholder requirement and ecological capital perspective as its academic theoretical contribution. The potential policy and theory implications of these findings are that existing stakeholder uncertainty towards climate change's consequences for individual supply chain stages can be further reduced. This futureproofs resilience more effectively across different scenarios, time horizons, multiple risks, impact costs and constraints. This aims to reduce the uncertainty and significant opportunity and externality costs; disruptive climate change presents for 'business as usual' expectations.


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Copyright 2019 the author

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