In the Western Balkans region, achieving efficient and modern internal transport networks and infrastructure and communication networks between the region’s countries will be a key enabler of economic growth and transition. This is a political priority of the countries themselves and the European Union, because it is an important means of improving links across the region and integrating the countries in the area into the political and economic mainstream of Europe (Matsoukis, 2008). A series of infrastructure and increasing costs to build and maintain roads and supplies. Railway systems are similarly vulnerable. Inland navigation will more often be faced with restrictions associated with extremely low and high river discharges. Changes in transport capacity may lead to changes in transport costs or to a shift between transport modalities. Economic impacts are closely related to the frequency of events that damage, disrupt and restrict transport, and the availability of transport alternatives. Furthermore, the costs associated with monitoring and maintenance of these networks is likely to increase. Few studies exist on the impacts of climate change on the transport networks within the region, including the mountainous areas. However, one study on the EU-27 transport network can give some indication of potential economic costs of climate change for the region. For road infrastructure, weather stresses already represent 30 per cent to 50 per cent of current road maintenance costs in Europe. Ten per cent of these costs (0.9 billion euro) are associated with extreme events, with flooding taking the lead. A significant extra cost for road transport infrastructures is projected due to more frequent extreme precipitation and flooding events (50–192 million euros per year between 2040–2100). At the same time, increasing temperatures could reduce road costs related to maintenance operations in colder areas (for snow and ice) (JRC, 2012).
From collection: Outlook on Climate Change Adaptation in the Western Balkan Mountains
GRID-Arendal and Cartografare il Presente/Nieves Izquierdo