Green ports... Europe's plan to reduce emissions in the shipping sector (report) - Energy

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  • Marine and industrial activities are part of the solution to the challenge of climate change
  • Water transport accounts for 90% of global trade and 2.5% of emissions
  • Europe aims to reduce emissions by 50% compared to 1990 levels by 2030
  • Europe is counting on the role of green hydrogen to achieve the goals of the Green Deal

As a means of transit for people, goods and different modes of transport, green ports will play a major role in the success of the European Green Deal.

Water transport accounts for about 90% of world trade and 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and highlights port authorities, to contribute to creating sustainable mobility that will support the economic prosperity of the European Union.

In an effort to become the world’s first zero-emissions zone by 2050, the European Union has drawn up its plan for various sectors with high emissions that contribute to climate change, and Europe’s Green Deal aims to reduce emissions by 50% compared to 1990 levels by 2030.

The transport sector accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, and under the Green Deal, ports are expected to achieve a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050.

One of the main areas of concern is seaports, which – according to the European Green Deal – should become significantly less polluted.

accelerating climate action

A number of observers argue that in order to evolve towards a climate-neutral economy, energy supply must shift to the primary use of sustainable sources. However, this shift is not just about renewables. An integrated approach to industry, shipping, and logistics requires innovative solutions to heating and transportation challenges. and raw materials.

Therefore, plans to convert ports into sustainable harbors raise several questions about how marine and industrial activities can contribute to achieving the goals of climate neutrality for many countries around the world by 2050, and how to transform the energy supply system in order to reconcile the economy, people and climate?

Aberdeen Harbor
Aberdeen Harbor

Ports are hydrogen ports

There is a huge need for a robust and flexible energy system for local production of green energy, and hydrogen provides the answer, by allowing large quantities to be transported over long distances exactly where and when consumers need it.

Hydrogen will allow energy to be distributed across sectors and regions, can act as a renewable feedstock, improve system resilience and help decarbonize transportation.

Europe is counting on the role of green hydrogen to achieve the goals of the Green Deal, as northwestern Europe accounts for 5% of the global demand for hydrogen, and most of it is concentrated in port areas.

It also counts on Europe to develop a strong market for hydrogen through internal and external trade, to contribute significantly, directly and immediately to the realization of the Green Deal, as well as to other EU transport policy objectives while enhancing the competitiveness of the European transport sector.

Green Deal

The Commission has identified a set of measures for smarter and more sustainable mobility, and under the European Green Deal, ports are required to follow environmentally responsible codes in order to switch to green ports which will include measures such as:

  • A new strategy focusing on smart and sustainable mobility.
  • Funding call to support the deployment of public recharging and refueling points as part of the alternative fuel infrastructure.
  • Evaluate legislative options to enhance the production and supply of sustainable alternative fuels for different modes of transportation.
  • Revised proposals for guidance on combined transport.
  • A review of the Trans-European Alternative Fuel and Network Infrastructure Directive under the Transport Regulations.
  • Initiatives to increase capacity and better manage railways and inland waterways.
  • Proposal for stricter standards for emissions of air pollutants for combustion engine vehicles.

European green ports

Europe is seeking to develop sustainable ports called green ports as intermodal hubs, improving passenger and freight flows for low-emission mobility, in the context of stricter public health standards through the following practices:

  • Adopting an inclusive sustainable port design concept that takes advantage of green building, demolition and dredging activities, with energy efficiency or renovated buildings, improved land and sea/river use, improved biodiversity and a circular economy.
  • Collaboration models across multiple stakeholders from EU countries, paving the way for large-scale deployment of innovative supply chain solutions across European ports.
  • Building integrated low-emissions energy supplies and production in ports (eg electricity, green hydrogen, biofuels), supply, storage, distribution, power (recharging) and sustainable alternative fuels and refueling systems for ship and vehicle infrastructure in ports, as well as for other uses (eg port equipment/machinery, systems Onshore power supply to ships moored in the port, etc.).
  • Demonstrate sustainability and innovation beyond energy supply and demand in ports, particularly integration with green and smart logistics, port operations, energy efficient buildings and more.
  • Demonstrate seamless and highly efficient logistics operations, for integrated maritime transport communications, and use digital technologies to organize cargo operations in ports, enabling efficient and automated logistics chains and data sharing with stakeholders.
  • Clear commitments and contributions are expected across Europe to embrace technological, non-technological and innovative solutions, which could be in the form of follow-up actions, for example with support from the EU’s Connect Europe Facility or other funding programmes.

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