European Green Deal

Press Releases

30 April 2020

To put to one side the most conspicuous news event of 2020, the European Green Deal remains the word on all European policy makers lips, currently invoked by many policy-makers and politicians as a possible path out of the crisis caused by COVID-19. EFIP published its response to the European Green Deal in its Position Paper on February 18, supporting the ambitions of the new Commission, signalling IWT policy issues and highlighting a number of areas where inland ports could play a vital role in the green transition.

EFIP highlighted that the Green Deal should focus on making the modal shift a success. This should be done through digital means, such as integrating the various modes together into a Single Multimodal European area; through governance initiatives such as renewing and expanding the remit of NAIADES; and through infrastructure means on the ground, for example through increasing European railway capacity. EFIP similarly noted the important role inland ports can play in the decarbonisation of transport, stressing the importance of an ambitious but clear and realistic Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility. Finally, EFIP reminded policy-makers that inland ports cannot embark on this voyage alone; financial and political support is central in installing green infrastructure and modernising the sector.

The Green Deal Position Paper also sought to remind policy-makers that climate change is particularly impactful for inland ports, who have been some of the first to suffer from the momentous effects of climate change. Extreme weather events are noticeably becoming more frequent. The dry summers of 2018  and 2019 are likely to repeat this summer, with dry weather already visible in the Rhine and the Danube regions. While the risk of this almost biblical perfect storm of drought and disease continues to pose an existential threat, we will not cease to remind policy-makers of the centrality of inland waterways both to Europe‚Äôs industrial past and to its green future.

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