CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) recently authored a Climate Change Resilience Plan for an oil and gas client to aid in selecting a shore base for a development project in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The operator wanted to consider the potential impacts of climate change throughout the projected 30-year lifespan of the development.
CSA identified and examined a comprehensive list of possible risks to the project associated with climate change, which involved assessing acute physical risks resulting from increased frequency and/or severity of extreme weather events, chronic physical risks resulting from long-term shifts in climate patterns, and societal (or transitional) risks stemming from policy, regulatory, legal, technological, industrial, and other societal responses to climate change.
To develop the Climate Change Resilience Plan, CSA’s analysis integrated several tasks. The CSA Team reviewed climate change-related studies and reports previously conducted by the client; reviewed hurricane risk data and reports; conducted an extensive literature review of hundreds of climate change publications; developed climate summaries from the most recently published and relevant climate data and reports; convened a risk assessment workshop; developed a climate change-based risk register; and compiled additional societal risk data from small group interviews. These tasks focused on the regional and local projections regarding future climate change and their risk potential to onshore shore base and aircraft support operations.
CSA fostered an in-country partnership with an organization in Mexico who summarized the societal risk of climate change and conducted the small focus group interviews. Based on interviews with more than 70 individuals or small groups, a characterization of stakeholder perceptions towards climate change and the oil and gas industry was compiled. Interview results provided further insight into the concerns from members of the local population, primarily commercial and recreational fishers; municipalities, state, and federal government officials; civil society organizations; and academics and researchers.
The CSA Team also designed and facilitated a risk assessment workshop for the project stakeholders. The Team presented climate data summaries and identified and ranked potential physical and societal climate risks, threats, and opportunities specific to the proposed onshore facilities.
Completion of each of these individual tasks, once assembled into a single summary report, provided the basis for identifying climate change-associated risk from both a physical and social perspective, along with identifying major data gaps or areas of uncertainty, viable mitigation measures to address climate change risks, and recommendations to develop climate change resilience for onshore support facilities. CSA looks forward to creating similar Climate Change Resilience Plans for future developments and clients, aiding resilient development and sustainability for long-term coastal and marine projects.
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