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Displaying items by tag: Green Deal

The European SeaPorts Organisation (ESPO) welcomes the aim of the Commission’s Green Deal Industrial Plan to ensure that the European Union can become an important player in the production and supply of net-zero products and technologies and a competitive player in these new sectors.

ESPO also believes that a well-established net-zero industrial ecosystem in Europe is an important instrument for progressing fast and efficiently on the energy transition and reaching Europe’s climate ambitions.

However, for ESPO, such a plan can only deliver if the whole supply chain is considered on top of the net-zero technology manufacturing projects. The deployment of net-zero industries and the stepping up of the security of supply of raw materials and spare parts for these industries must be accompanied by a policy to facilitate and support the adaptation and upgrading of the supply chain infrastructure, particularly in ports, hinterland connections and maritime access needs in order to realise this ambition.

The importance of examining the supply chain needs resulting from the development of these new industries in Europe has been clearly recognised by the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) in its opinion on the Net-Zero Industry Act proposal, voted on 19 July 2023. The opinion of the Committee on Transport and Tourism can be found here.

ESPO welcomes in particular the amendments 7, 12, 28, 32, 36, 38 of the adopted text.

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) of the European Parliament, which has the lead on this file, is currently preparing the compromise amendments. ESPO is happy to see that similar amendments, reflecting the supply chain approach, have been tabled in the ITRE Committee and hopes that these will be taken up in the compromises and the vote in the Committee scheduled on 12 October 2023.

“To become an important player in the net-zero industry market, Europe needs to stimulate not only the production of net-zero industries and technologies but also the supply chain infrastructure needed to transport, export, store, import where relevant, the raw materials, spare parts needed for these industries as well as the finished products. We very much welcome the opinion of the Transport Committee of the Parliament in this regard. We do hope that the ITRE Committee will also integrate this supply chain approach in their report.” says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

Several ports in Europe will, because of their location near sources of raw materials and/or new net-zero industries, see their activities growing in a short period. Many other ports could be ideal locations for these new activities. It is important to ensure that the infrastructure in the port, accessibility to and from the port is adapted following these new needs.

ESPO’s initial views on the Net-Zero Industry Plan are available here.

The ESPO looks forward to continuing the dialogue with the Parliament and Council in view of achieving a final agreement that reflects these concerns.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The European Commission on 9 Deccember released its new EU Mobility Strategy entitled “Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European Transport on track for the future”.

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes the ambition of the Mobility Strategy to deliver the Green Deal transport target to reduce GHG emissions by 90% while also working towards zero pollution in the sector.

ESPO fully supports the intention to make all transport modes sustainable and to shift towards more sustainable solutions. ESPO very much subscribes to the technology-neutral approach the Commission is pursuing.

Europe’s ports can be a strategic partner in making the European Green Deal happen. ESPO considers the “zero-emission port” flagship as an encouragement of the current efforts Europe’s ports are already making to facilitate emission reduction and to contribute to the energy transition of Europe’s economy. ESPO welcomes in that respect the recognition of ports as clean energy hubs. ESPO hopes this recognition will be followed by a more specific strategy to assist seaports in this role. Such a strategy should include support for the necessary infrastructure and facilities in seaports for the supply and transport of new energies, in particular hydrogen, recognition for the role of pipelines and more in general stronger synergies between transport and energy policies.

Building a zero-emission port will need to involve the shared and combined efforts of all transport, industry and energy stakeholders in the port ecosystem. Given the diversity of European ports, ESPO believes that designing port-specific roadmaps combined with well-working monitoring and certification tools such as the EcoPorts tools, and the exchange of best practices, is the best and most efficient way to reach this goal.

Moreover, achieving the zero-emission ambition will require significant private and public investments in ports and relevant infrastructure, which cannot be borne by individual port authorities alone.

Europe’s ports are pleased to see that short sea shipping is being recognised as a sustainable modal shift option for transport within Europe. ESPO also welcomes the milestones to increase the sustainable modes of transport (short sea shipping and inland waterways transport by 25% in 2030 (by 50% in 2050) and rail freight by 50% in 2030 (100% in 2050)). While the rail and inland waterway milestones are accompanied by stimulating policies, no supporting measures for encouraging short sea shipping and ports are being put forward in the Strategy. To increase the share of short sea shipping, simplifying the Motorways of the Sea criteria, creating a level playing field between the maritime and land links and recognising seaports as cross border infrastructure is a must.

ESPO welcomes the Commission’s proposal to support carbon neutral choices for scheduled collective travel below 500 km in the EU. ESPO regrets however that the strategy does not consider the current role and further potential of ferry connections as a sustainable alternative to short haul flights and a sustainable option in building back better the seriously hit tourism sector. Any planned TEN-T investments for upgrading the necessary infrastructure should also look at the potential of maritime passenger transport.

While ESPO applauds the Commission’s plea for a completion of TEN-T, it regrets the exclusive focus on the land-based network, ignoring the maritime dimension and the role of Europe’s seaports in terms of stepping up connectivity both internally and externally. ESPO hopes that the forthcoming TEN-T review will follow a more comprehensive approach, considering the central role of ports in achieving a multimodal Transport Infrastructure Network.

Whereas the Commission aims at making Europe’s transport system resilient, viewing a coordinated European approach to connectivity and transport activity as essential to strengthen EU’s strategic autonomy and resilience, the Strategy lacks a holistic vision on how to strengthen the role of ports as engines of growth and recovery.

Over the last months, Europe’s ports have proven essential in ensuring the continuity of supply chains. In parallel, ports are proving resilience and agility when it comes to preparing for the Brexit implementation. Moreover, if Europe aims at being the world’s connectivity hub, it should embrace its seaports as major gateways for trade, linking Europe with the world. In addition, considering their important role as multimodal hubs, key nodes of energy and clusters of industry, ports form part of Europe’s strategic infrastructure and should be supported in this role. In light of strengthening Europe’s economic resilience and strategic autonomy, ports’ connectivity is instrumental and port areas can play an important role in building strategic reserves, as location for re-shoring sectors, or new activities such as circular economy and offshore.

“Over the last year, the European Commission has been outlining important ambitions for Europe. Both the Green Deal, the Next Generation EU and the Open Strategic Autonomy approach for trade are crucial strategies for enhancing Europe’s growth, future and resilience in the world. Maritime ports are at the crossroads of these strategies and are a critical factor for delivering those. We see a recognition of the comprehensive role of ports in the mobility strategy. We now look forward to further discussing with the Commission what is really needed to assist and enable ports in Europe to play their role as engines of growth and recovery as best as they can,” comments Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO’s Secretary General.

ESPO is open to further discuss and which role Europe’s ports are playing and can play in delivering Europe’s Green Deal and Recovery Strategies, and how to reinforce this role. ESPO and its members fully subscribe the Strategy’s aim to strive for a sustainable European transport system that is smart, flexible and adaptable to ever-changing transports patterns and needs.

To download click the ESPO Position Paper on Mobility Strategy

Published in Ports & Shipping

The European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) today will discuss the draft own-initiative report on technical and operational measures for more efficient and cleaner maritime transport.

The aim of MEP Karima Delli, Chair of the TRAN committee and rapporteur for this file, is to propose a roadmap at EU level that sets out specific technical (design) and operational measures to limit emissions from the maritime sector.

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) believes that the draft report of Ms Delli contributes in a positive way to the reflection on ways to make maritime transport cleaner and more efficient and the role of ports in that.

Overall, ESPO particularly values the recognition of the key role played by maritime transport and ports in the EU economy. Europe’s seaports welcome the rapporteur’s call to reserve more budgetary resources within the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for delivering a modal shift and for achieving the goal of decarbonisation, as well as the demand for the Commission to promote short-sea shipping, on the same basis as rail and inland waterways, as a sustainable alternative to goods and passenger transport by road and air within the Green Deal framework.

The proposal to simplify the access criteria of Motorways of the Sea, in particular for links between ports outside the core network, and by providing significant financial support for maritime links as an alternative to land transport, is also a very positive step forward.

Furthermore, ESPO supports the proposal to correct market distortions created by the current taxation regime applied for renewable energy sources in the Energy Taxation Directive. This is in line with ESPO’s demand to make all clean fuels and energy sources permanently exempt from taxation. ESPO also supports the earmarking of revenues generated by a maritime market-based measure towards funding research and innovation for decarbonising European maritime transport and ports. In addition, ESPO agrees with the proposal to encourage cooperation between all stakeholders with the aim of decarbonising ports.

“We really appreciate that Ms Delli has taken the time and effort to consult with the port sector, and we believe that this draft report is the product of these efforts. Ms Delli clearly understands the crucial role ports are playing, and recognises that ports and maritime transport can positively contribute to reaching the Green Deal ambition. Very rightly, the rapporteur stresses that ports can be hubs for the production, distribution and transport of renewable-energy fuels. We look forward to the further debate in the European Parliament. We hope that the report can be further strengthened so that the Commission can put forward an ambitious but effective policy to come to cleaner and more efficient maritime transport in line with the Green Deal. There is no time, and no money to waste”, comments Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General.

In order to further strengthen the report, ESPO proposes to place greater emphasis on the need for a goal-based approach in the FuelEU Maritime Initiative, and to develop a supportive policy for the deployment and use of onshore power supply, whilst allowing for equivalent alternative solutions. Furthermore, ESPO backs a stronger support for coalitions between all maritime stakeholders, including energy providers, to develop the most effective pathways to the greening of shipping. ESPO also believes that the role of LNG as transition fuel should be better recognised.

The draft Delli report will be discussed in the TRAN committee today.  The deadline for amendments is 6 November, and the report will be voted in plenary early next year. To find out more about ESPO’s views on the Green Deal, click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping