International Handbook on Mega-Projects
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International Handbook on Mega-Projects

Edited by Hugo Priemus and Bert van Wee

This comprehensive and accessible Handbook presents state-of-the-art research on the decision-making processes in the deliverance of mega-projects – large infrastructure projects for the transportation of people and/or goods.
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Chapter 18: Mega-projects: new challenges to cope with climate change and energy transition

Jan Anne Annema and Hugo Priemus


This chapter discusses what climate change and energy transition may imply for transport mega-infrastructure planning. Two main research questions are put forward in this chapter. (1) How strong are the arguments for taking possible climate change and energy transition impacts into account when planning new transport mega-infrastructure? These issues are sometimes already considered when realizing new mega-projects. An example is the extension of the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In this 2.9 billion euro land reclamation project, the design is partly based on the expectation that due to climate change, in 50 years from now the sea level may rise by 50 cm (KB, 2008). Therefore, a somewhat higher dyke around the new port is being built and a more elevated road from the new port to the hinterland is being developed. (2) The second main question in this chapter is how can the potential consequences of climate change and energy transition be considered in decision-making for transport mega-projects? For new transport mega-projects it is often far more difficult to decide on a sensible decision-making strategy that includes climate change and energy transition than in the case of the port extension of Rotterdam. The main reason for this – as this chapter will show – is the huge uncertainties related to the consequences of climate change and energy transition in transport and on mega-projects.

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