The European Federation of Inland Ports welcomes the Green Deal for Europe
Yesterday, Commission President von der Leyen presented her long-awaited Green Deal for Europe. It aims to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030 with the European economy being wholly carbon-neutral by 2050. Given this ambitious objective, the Green Deal will touch all parts of the European economy and society, EFIP said in its release.
The European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) welcomes the Green Deal’s aim and proposals. As “Enablers of Green Logistics”, inland ports are convinced that they are essential in the achievement of a carbon-neutral Europe. Their role as multimodal hubs bringing together low-emissions modes of transport and promoting smart city logistics solutions will be key in the transition to smart and sustainable mobility.
The renewed support for the modal shift to cleaner forms of transport will prove vital to reaching emission reduction targets. EFIP therefore heartily welcomes the newly announced railway and inland waterway initiatives and the creation of a level playing field between the different modes. A more ambitious proposal on the Combined Transport Directive, to make multimodal transport the cornerstone of European logistics, is thus a positive development offered by the European Green Deal.
The decarbonisation of transport requires profound changes in the sector. In order for waterborne transport to fully decarbonise, inland ports will need to be able to develop the necessary infrastructure but this requires a clear roadmap outlining the path forward. The review of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and the proposed legal initiatives to increase the uptake of alternative fuels are thus welcomed and will be of paramount importance to the evolution of the sector. Moreover, the review of the Energy Taxation Directive will remove tax inhibitions currently holding back the electrification of inland waterway transport. But inland ports will not be able to undertake these essential infrastructure and energy developments alone; support from the promised funding initiatives will be crucial.
Finally, European inland ports welcome the proposed initiatives on digital and smart logistics. In parallel to the socio-economic benefits of the modal shift and decarbonisation, digital and autonomous systems will allow for increased efficiency of multimodal transport and a reduction in energy usage. Smart city logistics initiatives championed by inland ports will allow the combatting of congestion and improvement of air quality.
EFIP President Friedrich Lehr said: “The European Green Deal gives inland ports, and European logistics on the whole, a clear direction for the decarbonisation of European transport. European support for multimodal transport, new technologies and innovative city logistics will put inland ports on the right course to meet the goals for 2030 and 2050. But to achieve the European objectives, meticulous and detailed cooperation is also required, for which European inland ports stand ready.”