Displaying items by tag: European Green Deal

This month, the European Commission published its new Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, which aims at making transport within the EU more sustainable, smarter and more resilient. Transport is a crucial factor in the success of the European Green Deal (the goal of which is to make the EU climate neutral by 2050). Through the measures spelled out in the Strategy, including the 82 specific initiatives listed in the Action Plan that accompanies the Strategy, the Commission intends to deliver a 90% reduction in the transport sector’s emissions by 2050. The Strategy includes proposals and objectives on issues such as incentivising the development and use of zero-emission vehicles, enhancing transport intermodality, or putting in place the right policy incentives.

A number of the Strategy’s initiatives can be relevant to the recreational boating industry, even though they are not directly targeted towards the sector. The Strategy advocates the uptake of low- and zero-emission vehicles (including vessels) and of renewable and low-carbon fuels (including for waterborne transport). It envisages sustainability and end-of-life cycle requirements (e.g. in terms of carbon footprint or the sourcing of raw materials) and, for waterborne transport, mentions the possibility of establishing a Renewable and Low-Carbon Fuels Value Chain Alliance. Furthermore, it calls for cleaner ports, for alternative marine fuels, and for a network of recharging and refuelling infrastructure. Moreover, it stresses the need to provide SMEs with easier access to finance, and calls for investment in the modernisation of fleets in all transport modes.

The documents that accompany the Strategy also provide relevant information. The 82-point Action Plan contains several noteworthy actions, such as: exploring retrofitting and renewal schemes in various transport modes, revising the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, establishing sustainable taxonomy criteria (something EBI is actively engaged with), developing Research and Innovation partnerships, revising the maritime safety framework or revising the mandate of EMSA.

Furthermore, the Staff Working Document accompanying the Strategy, which provides a background assessment, points out the lack of mutual recognition of boating licences between Member States, noting that solving this problem would ensure free movement of people and support employment in the sector.

The full Strategy, together with the supplementary 82-point Action Plan, as well as additional information, can be found here.

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On 14 October, the Commission published the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, within the context of the European Green Deal. The document tries to address the negative impacts that harmful chemicals can have on human health and on the environment by proposing specific actions. These include phasing out chemicals like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from consumer products, minimising their use in all products, and stepping up enforcement of EU rules to ensure compliance with chemicals legislation.

The Strategy also aims at enhancing industrial innovation in order to expand the use of safe and sustainable chemicals, making the EU a world leader in this area. To do this, the document calls for financial support for the development and uptake of safe and sustainable chemicals, through EU funding and public-private partnerships. Other actions put forward include drawing up an EU research and innovation agenda for chemicals.

The document can be found here.

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On 8 October, the European Parliament adopted the position it will take in the negotiations of the forthcoming EU climate law. The plenary voted in favour of a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This goes further than the Commission’s position, released in September, which called for a reduction of at least 55% by 2030. Once the Council (which represents the Member States) has adopted its own position on the issue, the three institutions will enter negotiations to draft the final climate law, which intends to turn the political objective of achieving a carbon-neutral EU by 2050 into a legal obligation.

The position adopted by the European Parliament would require not only the EU as a whole but also all Member State to become climate-neutral by 2050, and it states that the EU and the Member States should be climate-negative after 2050 (removing more greenhouse gases than they emit). Furthermore, the proposal calls for sufficient funding to achieve the stated goals, and it stipulates that all fossil fuel subsidies should be phased out by 2025.