Ms Ursula von der Leyen, ‘Commission will take action in relation to maritime transport, including to oblige docked ships to use shore-side electricity’

12/12/2019. (Copied literally from European Sea Ports Organization-ESPO)

The Commission published its Communication on the European Green Deal (please click here). The Communication lists a number of new policy initiatives/legislative proposals and is accompanied by an annex which indicates the timing each initiative/proposal will come out.

The Commission will propose the first European Climate law by March 2020 which will enshrine the 2050 net zero emission objective (climate neutrality) into legislation. By summer 2020, the Commission will propose a revision of the current GHG reductions target for 2030 to at least 50% and towards 55%.

With regard to the transport sector, the Communication points out that a 90% reduction in transport emissions is needed by 2050. The Commission will publish a strategy for sustainable and smart mobility in 2020 that will address this challenge and tackle all emission sources. The Communication highlights that a substantial part of the 75% of inland freight carried today by road should shift onto rail and inland waterways. The Commission is also likely to withdraw and present a new proposal for the Combined Transport Directive aiming to support short sea shipping. With regard to the pricing measures for transport, the Communication highlights that fossil fuel subsidies must end and current tax exemptions including for marine fuels will be closely checked in the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive aiming at how best to close any loopholes. The Commission will also propose the inclusion of shipping in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).

With regard to the alternative fuels, the Commission will review the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and the TEN-T Regulation to accelerate the deployment of zero- and low-emission vessels in 2021. In particular, the Communication makes a reference to ports saying that the Commission will take action in relation to maritime transport, including to regulate access of the most polluting ships to EU ports and to oblige docked ships to use shore-side electricity.

On air quality, the Commission will adopt in 2021 a zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil. It will also propose to revise air quality standards to align them more closely with the World Health Organization recommendations.

On green financing, the Commission will present a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan to help meet the additional funding needs. As part of the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan, the Commission will propose a Just Transition Mechanism, including a Just Transition Fund. The Just Transition Mechanism, which will focus on the regions and sectors that are most affected by the transition, will draw on sources of funding from the EU budget as well as the EIB group to leverage the necessary resources. The proposal for the Just Transition Fund and the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan will come out in January 2020.

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