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EU´s environmental ambitions place new demands on transport

    By 2030, the EU will reduce climate emissions by at least 55%. The President of the Commission concludes that transport is too cheap to the costs they inflict on society.

    Author: Fagdirektør Arnt-Einar Litsheim i Norske Havner

    In connection with the “state of the union” speech, EU-Commission President Ursula Von Der Leuyen announced that the EU would increase its climate ambitions last week. The Commission’s new aim is a cut of at least 55% by 2030. The European Parliament has further surpassed this and wants a reduction of at least 60%. Several member states, including the European Council, have issued similar conclusions.

    The article is available in Norwegian

    Transportation is too cheap

    The President of the Commission concluded that transport is too cheap, in the sense that the transport sector does not make up for itself concerning the costs one imposes on society. The European roadmap’s overall goal, “Climate-neutral by 2050”, will continue to be the EU’s navigational “star”.

    A more robust transport sector

    The overall objectives of the European Green Deal is part of the Transport Strategy for Europe (Strategy for a Sustainable and Smart Mobility). The revision of the White Paper from 2011 will be more targeted and followed up by specific regulations and directives. The European Commission at DG CLIMA further signals a “green ports” initiative as part of this strategy. The transport strategy will be dealt with by the EU institutions (trilogy). Here, the European Ports Organization (ESPO) will look after European ports’ interests, including Norwegian ones.

    The transport sector must be more robust. The importance of a robust transport sector has been further updated in connection with COVID-19, as the importance of securing capacity in the transport sector has been essential for society’s functioning at large.

    Efficient transport solutions ensure market access and competitiveness

    For the industry and cargo-owners, efficient and secure transport is essential. It ensures market access and competitiveness. The Commission is clear that they want a green economy and a business community that actively contributes to cutting emissions. Those who adapt will undoubtedly gain a competitive advantage. Both regulatory requirements and market power will force society in such a direction. It is nothing new that forces in the EU want more sustainable development. What is new is that all EU institutions seem to align in the same direction.

    When it comes to climate and the EU, the main conclusion is; Things are happening at a high pace. Also, Norway, as an EEA country, will be directly affected by this. It will be exciting to see how the Norwegian authorities, for example, intend to follow up on these signals in connection with the national transport plan. A concrete example would be the proposal to introduce mandatory road pricing.

    There is no doubt that a more decent transport sector is desirable. Sustainable development involves significant challenges concerning proper working conditions, the environment, and safety. “The Cowboy attitude” should be a thing of the past in the transportation industry!
    Fagdirektør Arnt-Einar Litsheim i Norske Havner

    Ports -more than just a transport hub?

    Are the ports something more than just a freight hub? There is a budding awareness that the ports are becoming an energy hub and a transport hub. The new role is most evident in the ongoing work on the Alternative Fuels Directive. It is a stated goal of greener shipping and that the ports in the part of energy hubs should contribute in that direction.

    Here, the ports in Norway have, for natural reasons, taken a leading role in Europe. It will be necessary for product owners to contribute to a climate-friendly and sustainable transport sector.

    Ice formation

    Zero-emission ports are an essential step on the way, but you will not reach your goal until the entire logistics chain is climate- and environmentally friendly. 70% – 80% of emissions can be linked to when the ship sails, so there is no reason to rest on our laurels. It is a work taken seriously by both the IMO and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, and places increased shipping demands. The slogan still applies; «One does not save the world with a green port.» The port is a central and essential piece in the transport system, but you need to look at the entire transport chain to get workable solutions.

    The Commission President’s statement that transport is too cheap is a warning of climate change for the entire transport sector.