Adapting to Climate Change The Public Policy Response Public Infrastructure

Abstract: "his paper assesses the threats and needs that multidimensional climate change imposes for public infrastructure, reviews the existing adaptive capacity that could be applied to respond to these threats and needs, and presents options for enhancing adaptive capacity through public sector investments in physical, planning, and human resources. The paper considers four types of infrastructure: transportation; energy generation and transmission; water, sewer, and telecommunications; and coastal defence. The main threats presented by climate change to these assets include damage or destruction from extreme events, which climate change may exacerbate; coastal flooding and inundation from sea level rise; changes in patterns of water availability; effects of higher temperature on operating costs, including effects in temperate areas and areas currently characterized by permafrost conditions; and demand?induced effects.