First of all, to be a green port means being aware of the environment and understanding that we have a great ethical responsibility for the protection of our marine and terrestrial environment.
The EU is leading European ports in finding different environmental solutions with a great deal of provisions, such as the Green Deal and the Fit for 55. At the moment European ports already have a lot of green solutions but actually the work is still in progress. The most important solutions are: LNG, OPS, renewable energies and green fuels.
European law makes reaching the EU’s climate goal of reducing EU emissions by at least 55% by 2030 a legal obligation. EU countries are working on new legislation to achieve this goal and make the EU carbon neutral by 2050.
About the timeline of these two legal provisions, once again the Council adopted a new regulation to decarbonise the maritime sector on 25 July 2023. It will be published after this summer and it will be applied from 1 January 2025 with the exception of article 8/9, which will come into force from 31 August 2024.
The most important goal of this regulation is to increase the demand and continued use of low-carbon and renewable fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the shipping sector, while ensuring the smooth functioning of maritime traffic and avoiding distortions in the internal market.
I want to underline some important points of this very new regulation: it will provide a reduction of GHG of 2% in 2025 and the reduction of 80% in 2050. It will provide a special incentive scheme to support the use of so-called renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) with a high decarbonisation potential, the exclusion of fossil fuels from the certification process of the regulation.
I believe that for our ports it is important to know another point of this regulation, which is a requirement for passenger ships and container ships to connect to shore power for their electricity needs while berthed at the quayside in major EU ports from 2030, especially for these ports that are very close to the cities. In those cases, whereby ships will be allowed to pool their balance of compliance with one or more vessels; the average balance of the pool will have to respect the greenhouse gas intensity limits and time-limited exceptions for the specific treatment of the outermost regions, small islands and highly dependent areas.
This new regulatory provision shows that OPS is clearly mandatory for all ports and for all types of ships.
Will the ports be ready? We will see.