COP21: The Road To Paris Passes Through The Seaports



Tackling global climate change is a concern of all European ports.  European ports overall consider that the 2015 Paris Climate Conference is a historic milestone for enhancing the global collective action and moving towards a low-carbon and climate resilient society.

This is the reason the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) decided to join the “Think Climate” coalition that has been set up under the umbrella of PIANC, the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure.

Think Climate brings together major international associations with interests in waterborne transport infrastructure, with the objective to help the sector respond to climate change.

PIANC’s Think Climate Coalition formally launched its 2015-2020 “Navigating a Changing Climate” Action Plan on 6th   December.

ESPO Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost said, “We are very pleased we can actively support the Think Climate initiative and step up efforts to both mitigate and adapt to climate change.  We should reflect on how to play an active role in the transition to alternative and renewable energy.”

The ESPO Green Guide of 2012 has a section dedicated to energy consumption and climate change that calls for concrete action and highlights the best practice examples of European ports.

Further to the existing port initiatives, European Ports call for:

1. Further steps towards increasing efficiency: do more with fewer emissions

In order to match the needed reduction of the emissions with the expected growth in freight traffic volumes, maritime transport has to become more efficient, and the existing capacity has to be used in a more optimal way.  To address this challenge, the internal market for maritime transport should be materialised.  Shorter turnaround times will positively affect emissions.

2. Ports to play an active role in changing the energy landscape

Ports play an important role in the supply, import, export and even sometimes the production of both conventional and alternative energy.  As such, ports can actively manage and promote the transition to alternative and renewable energies.

3. Paris to give a clear mandate to IMO to strengthen its work on reducing shipping emissions

Even if international shipping produces about 2.2% of world’s total CO2 emissions, whereas it transports about 90% of world trade, shipping should clearly contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions reductions from any other sector.

Source: ESPO