On 14 July, the European Commission published its so-called “Fit for 55”-package, a package of proposals which should help deliver on the European Climate Law target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by at least 55% by 2030, and enable climate neutrality by 2050.
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes the new “Fit for 55”-proposals as an important first step towards reaching the European Green Deal ambition and the 2030 and 2050 goals enshrined in the EU Climate Law.
The package includes different proposals of relevance to ports: a proposal for a Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), a new proposal to increase the use of alternative fuels by shipping (FuelEU Maritime), the extension of the Emissions Trading System to shipping (EU ETS), amendments to the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII), and an update of the Energy Taxation Directive.
“The fit for 55-proposals are an important first step: all ingredients are there to deliver the green deal and climate goals. We will now examine the proposals in depth and identify where the port pillar of this green deal architecture should be optimised. For Europe’s ports it is essential to ultimately achieve a policy that is effective in reducing emissions, is coherent, keeps an eye on the competitiveness of Europe’s port sector, is future-proof and does not create stranded assets or additional administrative burden for ports. It should take the diversity of the European port and maritime sector into due consideration,” says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.
To make the proposed package fit for purpose, the following key aspects have to be considered:
“If Europe is to become fit for 55, it needs to fund for 55. The needed investments in ports to facilitate the greening of shipping are huge. Since there is no silver bullet to green the shipping sector, these are high risk investments with hardly any return on investment for the investing port authority,” comments Isabelle Ryckbost.
ESPO looks forward to discussing the Fit for 55-proposals with the Commission, European Parliament and Council, and to working together with the relevant EU policy makers to deliver an ambitious Fit for 55-package that is fit for purpose.