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ESPO publishes its Position Paper on the European Green Deal objectives in ports

ESPO position paper

On 19 February the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) published its Position Paper on the European Green Deal objectives in ports.

The publication of this position paper fits into the European Shipping Week (ESW), taking place in Brussels from 17 February.  In the framework of the ESW, ESPO and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) organised on 19 February a workshop on Decarbonising the shipping industry: What’s already happening and how can we help accelerate it? 

The Executive Summary of the ESPO Position Paper reads as follows:

  1. European ports welcome Europe’s ambition to be the world’s first net zero emission area by 2050. This ambition must be delivered in the most effective way. The competitiveness of Europe’s economy must be safeguarded. Achieving this objective will require an unprecedented level of cooperation across all policy departments and stakeholders.
  2. European ports are at the crossroads of supply chains, are clusters of energy, industry and blue economy. They can be a key strategic partner in making the European Green Deal happen.
  3. The greening of the shipping sector is a priority for European ports and Europe’s ports are committed to playing their part in helping the shipping sector to make this transition. Close cooperation between ports and shipping lines is required. This cooperation is also largely dependent on decisions of energy producers, energy providers and cargo owners.
  4. European ports are diverse and there is no one approach which can be mandated for all ports. Instead, each port should develop a roadmap appropriate to its particular circumstances to prepare for the energy transition of shipping.
  5. A goal-based and technology neutral approach is needed to ensure the uptake of clean fuels for shipping, support innovation and avoid stranded assets.
  6. A gradual approach should be developed to reduce emissions at berths with an initial focus on berths close to urban areas and a focus on particular segments such as cruise ships and ferries. But such an emission reduction standard at berth is in itself not sufficient to achieve the decarbonisation of shipping. Over time, the objective of zero emissions at berths is achievable. By 2030, CO2 emissions from ships at berth and in ports should be reduced by 50% on average and across all segments of shipping.
  7. Onshore Power Supply (OPS) should be encouraged as an important part of the solution. However, alternative solutions which achieve the same objectives should be encouraged and allowed.
  8. LNG’s role as a transition fuel should be recognised and certainty is needed about the support for investments made from 2021 to at least 2027.
  9. Given the international nature of the shipping sector, a global approach is essential if market-based measures are to succeed. The EU should increase the pressure on the IMO to roll out meaningful measures by 2023. ESPO believes that any European proposals such as an Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), a levy or an innovation fund must be thoroughly examined in view of safeguarding the competitiveness of the EU port sector.
  10. The review of the Energy Taxation Directive should support the uptake of all sustainable clean fuels, including OPS, by introducing a permanent tax exemption for all of them.
  11. ESPO fully recognises and supports the role of rail and inland waterway transport as sustainable hinterland modes for freight. Motorways of the Sea and Short Sea Shipping can however be just as effective as rail and inland waterways in providing an alternative to road transport. In addition, pipelines can play a crucial role in the transport of certain modalities and the implementation of certain decarbonisation technologies.
  12. Many European ports are important clusters of energy and industry. These ports are players and partners in achieving the energy transition. Greening the port means much more than greening the transport side. All industry players in the port should have their agendas, goals and plans and the port managing body must support the industries in the port in their pathways to a more sustainable future. 
  13. Seaports and waterborne transport should be seen as a priority in ensuring resilience to climate change. In that respect, European ports welcome the European Green Deal’s commitment to adopt a new and more ambitious strategy on adaptation to climate change.
  14. Digitalisation will increase the transparency in the supply chain and can help create awareness of the carbon and environmental footprint of the whole supply chain. By improving the communication, gathering and exchanging real-time information among different parties, logistics processes can be optimised and transport infrastructure and means (avoiding empty trucks, trains and ships) can be used in a better way. Digitalisation must be seen as an additional instrument to meet the Green Deal objectives.
  15. A strong Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) is essential for Europe to invest in a sustainable future. Getting an agreement on a strong MFF must show that both European and national policy makers walk the talk. Extensive support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is an absolute prerequisite for port investments, especially if there are mandatory provisions on the installation of certain technologies. Both core and comprehensive TEN-T ports should be eligible. Support will also be important for turning port areas into clean energy hubs and for ensuring connectivity to clean energy grids.  

The full ESPO Position Paper can be read here: https://www.espo.be/media/ESPO%20Green%20Deal%20position%20paper%20Green%20Deal-FINAL.pdf

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Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )

No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.

These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.

Hotel staff and entertainers

These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.

With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.

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IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.

Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.

Concern at IFSMA

IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment.  Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments. 

Unprecedented times

Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO.  This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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Latest News & Events

Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )

No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.

These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.

Hotel staff and entertainers

These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.

With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.

Call to governments

IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.

Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.

Concern at IFSMA

IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment.  Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments. 

Unprecedented times

Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO.  This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).