ESPO welcomes European Parliament’s recommendations for cleaner maritime transport

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Karima Delli

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) says it believes the European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) recommendations draft initiative report on efficient and cleaner maritime transport will contribute in a positive way to make maritime transport cleaner and more efficient and the role of ports in that.

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.

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 would be discussed in the TRAN committee on 28 October. The deadline for amendments is 6 November, and the report will be voted in plenary early next year.

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