Wind, rain, temperature and construction contracts: how to provide for climate change in your engineering and construction project
The construction industry is one of the most vulnerable industries to the effects of climate change due to its reliance on outdoor activities and labor. Forty-five percent of construction projects are affected by adverse weather, on a global level, resulting in billions of dollars in additional costs each year, mainly due to expensive schedule overruns.1 A recent systematic study confirmed that the most impactful weather events on construction projects are extreme temperatures (and humidity), precipitation and high winds.2 Each can lead to decreased productivity or render certain tasks on the critical path unfeasible, thereby affecting the project schedule, overall costs or the quality of the work performed (as well as affecting logistics and the supply chain).
It is increasingly important to consider how these events can and should be dealt with legally on major construction projects given two important factors. First, the demonstrated increase, due to climate change, in the frequency and unpredictability of extreme weather events, which will have negative knock-on effects on major construction projects and make historical weather data in project documents increasingly inaccurate (and thus exacerbate the parties’ dispute).3 The most recent global, authoritative climate report – the World Meteorological Organization’s State of the Global Climate 2020 (published in April 2021) – confirmed that greenhouse gas emissions continued to rise in 2020, one of the three warmest years on record, despite the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.4 Hurricanes, extreme heatwaves, severe droughts and wildfires resulted in tens of billions of US dollars in economic losses (and many deaths). #globalwarming #climatechange #carboncompensation #bluesky #climateemergency #climatecrisis #blueskye #blueskyefoundation #compensate
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