Fifteen Organizations Call For Bold Action on Europe's Green Deal

file photo
file photo of Port of Rotterdam

Published Feb 11, 2020 6:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

The European Commission's release of its European Green Deal late last year outlined the ambition to reduce emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030 and to become carbon-neutral by 2050.
A group of 15 European organizations representing logistics, ports, rail and shipyard industries has announced their support for the Green Deal, saying they believe that it can be an opportunity for Europe, particularly if it enables E.U. industries to benefit from a “new growth strategy” that will boost their competitiveness while becoming more sustainable. 
The organizations say the success of the Green Deal will depend on the regulatory framework and financial instruments that will be mobilized to support innovation and action. Legal certainty for private investments as well as a financial stimulation of “first movers” will be an important cornerstone for its ultimate success.
Equally important is the mindset that will lead all stakeholders to focus on a better integrated transport system rather than on stand-alone transport modes. Combining rail, road, short sea shipping, inland waterways and air transport in a smart and efficient way will be crucial. 
Another key factor will be the E.U.’s ability to play a leadership role in convincing non-E.U. countries to engage in the same direction. The organizations therefore welcome the Commission’s efforts to convince other governments to set bold climate targets, thus guaranteeing a level playing field.

Achieving the reductions in transport involves replacing fossil fuels with alternative fuels, alternative propulsion systems, improving the energy efficiency of vehicles and vessels and boosting the energy efficiency of the entire transport system. 

The organizations state that a comprehensive strategy for sustainable and smart mobility should look to revise key legal texts such as the TEN-T Regulation, the Rail Freight Corridor Regulation, the Combined Transport Directive and the Eurovignette Directive. Several modes of transport are still confronted to cumbersome customs procedures. New technologies could be used to provide better levels of safety and security while simplifying current bureaucracy.

There is an urgent need to unlock funding and to propose smart regulations which can provide real added value for the entire logistics chain. At the same time, the opportunity should be taken to make the different sources of funding more aligned, more transparent and more accessible for all the different parties in the transport system. Additionally, the time between project calls, granting projects and presenting end results should be shortened. 
The supporting organizations are:

CLECAT (European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services)
EBU European, Barge Union
ECASBA (European Community Association of Ship Brokers and Agents)
EFIP (European Federation of Inland Ports)
EMPA (European Maritime Pilots’ Association)
ESC (European Shippers’ Council)
ERFA (European Rail Freight Association)
ESPO (European Sea Ports Organization)
ETA (European Tugowners’ Association)
EuDA (European Dredging Association)
FEPORT (Federation of European Private Port Companies and Terminals)
IWT (European Inland Waterway Transport Platform)
SeaEurope (Shipyards’ and Maritime Equipment Association)
UIP (International Union of Wagon Keepers)
UIRR (International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport)
Some contrary opinions have been voiced. At the time of the release of the Green Deal, German shipowners raised concerns about plans to extend the European emissions trading system to the maritime sector.