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The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has described the preliminary approval given to GHG reduction measures at last week’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) as ‘a first step’, but argued that ‘higher ambitions’ are needed to ‘deliver on Green Deal ambitions in the maritime sector and in ports’.

The ESPO said that it ‘considers last week's IMO agreement as a starting point for more ambitious measures on the global level’.

The ESPO continued: ’To ensure the robustness and effectiveness of the agreed mechanisms, the upcoming implementing work should be made as strict as possible in terms of enforcement. Together with the International Association for Ports and Harbours (IAPH), ESPO regrets that the agreed package settles for lower ambitions as concerns the scope, enforcement, and reduction factors of the measures.’

The ESPO said that it ‘recognises a global approach is preferable’ – but ‘if a sufficiently ambitious approach fails to materialise on the international level by 2023’, it would then favour ‘a regional measure that ensures real and significant emission reductions and delivers on the European Green Deal, whilst accounting for potential market distortions on the regional level’.

However, the ESPO added: ‘Regional measures should be designed in such a way that they can be extended or replicated on the global level. Such regional proposals must also be thoroughly examined in view of safeguarding the competitiveness of the EU port sector.’



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