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EU maritime transport sector must be more sustainable and contribute to the Green Deal


03 May 2021



The European maritime transport sector plays a huge role in the EU’s economy. Hence, it should also play a leading role in contributing to the Green Deal and the efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The S&D Group in today’s vote expressed its support for various technical and operational measures to bring about a cleaner and more efficient maritime transport sector. To this end, we strongly believe the maritime sector should be included in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) without delay. The S&D Group welcomes the support of investments and research in sustainable alternative fuels and propulsion technologies.  It also recognises the strategic role of ports and supports the use of clean electricity.

This initiative report will set the tone for upcoming technical and operational measures for cleaning maritime transport.

S&D negotiator responsible for this report, Vera Tax MEP, said:

“The maritime sector is of key importance, as 90% of goods arrive in the EU via sea. However, it is also responsible for about 4% of the total European greenhouse gas emissions.

“To achieve our climate goals, every sector must participate, including the maritime sector. Therefore, we need ambitious goals at a European level to green and digitalise the shipping industry, as well as to support the use of clean electricity in ports.

“We have no time to lose to make the right choices now for a sustainable and healthy future.”

S&D MEP Javi López, rapporteur for the environment committee opinion, commented:

“The EU must go one step ahead and push for the decarbonisation of maritime transport by rapidly adopting appropriate and effective policies.

“The increasing emissions from shipping threaten to undermine our climatic objectives, and we cannot forget that ships’ detrimental impact on air quality continues to increase as the sector grows.

“Measures such as the inclusion of the sector in the EU ETS, the extension of Emission Control Areas (ECAs) to all EU seas, and the implementation of the ‘zero-emission berth standard’ in all European ports are the only way to comply with our climatic objectives at a European and global level, and also protect our coastal areas and their population.”