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Infrastructure summit: Levermann puts emphasis on climate issues

04/14/2011 - "Whoever is planning infrastructure without paying attention to climate issues could just as well skip it" - with this statement Anders Levermann of the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research made a point at a high-ranking conference in Berlin this week. Amongst the participants of the so-called infrastructure summit were the German minister for transport and construction, the CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG, the director of German Telekom's T-Systems, and the vice president of the Federal Network Agency. Levermann, a professor of dynamics of the climate system, gave the concluding keynote speech.
Infrastructure summit: Levermann puts emphasis on climate issues

Photo: Stallknecht/

In the long run, unrestricted climate change could compromise infrastructure such as transportation and energy supply. Extreme events like floodings can be an impact of already unavoidable climate change, Levermann pointed out. Adaptation is necessary, infrastructure has to be durable. At the same time, it has to be avoided that global warming transgresses critical thresholds. Therefore, continental energy grids have to be robust in order to deal with a new energy mix, and transport routes have to be energy efficient.

The demand for investment into infrastructure is estimated to be about 4100 billion US-Dollar up to the year 2030, the conference organisers said. Due to the longevity of infrastructure, decisions on investments define greenhouse gas emissions in the transport and energy sector for decades.

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