The study describes the vulnerability of Vietnam’s infrastructure to climate change. Its government is implementing a national plan to improve its infrastructure integrating conventional concerns and climate change. The study incorporates climate stressors such as precipitation and temperature changes and projected sea-level rise.
To estimate the cost of future damage and how road infrastructure will respond to climate change stressors, researchers have used an engineering-based stressor response approach to quantify the impact of climate change on physical assets.
The stressors response methodology explains how exogenous factors, in this case, climate stressors like sea-level rise, precipitation, temperature, storm frequency and winds speed directly affect road infrastructure.
The concept of “opportunity cost” is an important idea also discussed in the study and applied to identify the benefits of adapting to projected climatic changes. Simply put it answers this question – given the need to extend road networks, should Vietnam postpone costly adaptation measures on critical infrastructure?
While answering the research questions, the researchers uncovered trade-offs in road investments and with climate change in the mix further complicating the trade-offs.
Using the stressor response function researchers have estimated the damage and maintenance costs from climate change stressors that accounts for all road surface types.
The findings show that adapting infrastructure to climate change will prove significantly cheaper in the long-run and will allow for maintenance savings arising from reducing the susceptibility of roads to weather deterioration.
Overall, the study provides an initial assessment of climate change’s impact on Vietnam’s road infrastructure. And findings will provide context for policymakers to understand climate change’s implication on the countries long term economic development plan.
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