Advancing Best Practices: Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

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CH2M for its work with Newmont, one of the world's leading gold producers, on a climate resiliency program and analysis of exposure to climate-related risks across Newmont's worldwide portfolio. Among the risks addressed is curtailment of hydroelectric power supply during droughts, a factor that has already caused unexpected power outages at the company's mines in Ghana.

Newmont and CH2M analyzed future climate conditions in Ghana, which demonstrated that water shortages for hydro generation were likely to become more severe, a data point that highlighted the importance of greater investment in onsite power generation. The analysis also showed that increased competition for water is likely. Newmont and CH2M shared the findings with the Ghanaian government to assist with its climate planning.

The Newmont-CH2M team then developed guidance and tools for evaluating climate risk across the company, providing a workshop-based process for managers and staff to understand climate impacts to mine operations, supply chains, product transport and communities. The guidance was road tested at Newmont's Nevada operations, and the firm plans to apply the guidance globally in 2017.

Engineers Canada for milestones in its efforts to integrate climate change risks and adaptation in all engineering work. In its 11th year of use, Engineers Canada's Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee (PIEVC) protocol has been applied to 43 projects in Canada and three internationally. The World Federation of Engineering Organizations adopted PIEVC in its Model Code of Practice: Principles of Climate Change Adaptation for Engineers in December 2015.

2016 saw the first completion of projects that applied the PIEVC protocol to indigenous infrastructure, as well as its use by Toronto Hydro to evaluate its entire distribution network. Additionally, Metrolinx transit agency in Toronto used the PIEVC for planning future procurement of transportation assets. Also in 2016, Engineers Canada announced that a first cohort of engineers were trained and certified as Infrastructure Resilience Professionals.

ICF for its work to assist energy sector stakeholders in managing climate-related risks. In 2016, the firm assisted the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in developing a framework to evaluate energy asset vulnerability to sea level rise and storm surge. Also for DOE, ICF developed a tool to identify climate-related risks to hydropower investments under consideration in developing countries.

Also in the year, ICF staff led a detailed analysis of the vulnerability of electric and gas assets to climate-related hazards for San Diego Gas and Electric, which included multi-hazard exposure modeling and a dynamic mapping application.

For a confidential energy utility client, ICF assessed climate risks to infrastructure and designed resilience strategies. The analysis includes an advanced sea level rise exposure analysis, which is being used to identify specific vulnerable assets and corresponding resilience measures.