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IFC Study Provides Framework for Analyzing Climate Impact on Ports, Helps Colombia Adapt

In Washington:
Houtan Bassiri

Phone: (202) 458-4662


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Clara Ugarte-Perrin

Phone: (511) 611-2501


Bogota, Colombia, April 27, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today released a study that lays out a comprehensive framework for assessing the risks of climate change on port operations and options for adapting to the risks.

Climate Risk and Business: Ports
analyzes the climate-related risks and opportunities facing IFC client Terminal Maritimo Muelles el Bosque, a port in Cartagena, Colombia, and provides a quantitative assessment of the impact of climate change and potential responses for adapting.  The methodology can be used to assess climate vulnerabilities and adaptation options of other ports in the country and elsewhere in the world.

The study comes amid a state of emergency in Colombia as heavy rains continue to cause flooding and landslides across swathes of the country. The rains, which, have been attributed to the "La Niña" weather phenomenon, a South American counterpart to "El Niño," have caused hundreds of deaths, displaced thousands, and could potentially impact the country’s economic growth.

“This study will have an important impact on future climate change studies in Colombia, because it is one of the first to analyze how businesses and commerce will be affected by the changing environment in our country,” said Gabriel Echavarria, President of  Muelles el Bosque. “The study has helped us develop our long-term strategic planning and investment priorities, and we hope its discipline and content will serve as a model and guide for future efforts in our region.”

The study is part of IFC’s Climate Risk Program, a series of studies started in 2008 that analyze climate risks to various sectors and projects located in different countries, while offering practical approaches to assess the relevant impacts and adaptation options. The studies aim to help clients understand and respond to the risks of climate change.

“Although ports and other infrastructure are vital for a country’s economic growth and development, until now there has been very little analysis on how they are affected by climate change,” said Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services. “By helping our clients better understand the risks and challenges, IFC is helping guide how the private sector can best adapt to climate change.”

Tackling climate change in developing countries is a strategic priority for IFC.  IFC plans to double its climate-related investments and Advisory Services to at least 20 percent of its overall commitments and activities within two years.

To view the report Climate Risk and Business: Ports, go to:

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit

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