The European Green Deal and Logistics in Time of Recovery
Time and place:
|Date:||07 July 2020|
|Time:||14.00 - 15.15|
Brussels, 7 July 2020 – At the second webinar organised by the European Logistics Platform (ELP) this year, over 40 EU policy-makers and industry representatives met online to discuss how European policy was seeking to combine the post-crisis recovery with the EU Green Deal objectives and direct the recovery funding towards green and digital solutions so that the transport sector could come out of the crisis reinforced.
Ismail Ertug, Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of the S&D Group, opened the webinar by expressing full support for the commitment of the European Commission to link the post-crisis recovery with the Green Deal objectives and implement a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050, with a sustainable and a digital angle. “This is a good strategy, as the EU should do its utmost to become the first CO2-neutral continent in the world and at the same time transform itself into a market leader in terms of new technologies and digitalisation,” he stressed, adding that the European Parliament (EP), together with other European institutions, was committed to putting forward new legislation, needed to shift different sectors within the EU to a digital and zero-carbon economy. He also noted that the transport and logistics sector needed to become more resilient in the future, and therefore digital solutions were key. The EP supported this objective and also made clear it wanted an ambitious recovery fund and budget for a future MFF to make sure these goals remain within reach.
Tariel Chamerois, Head of Sustainability France & Maghreb, DB Schenker, gave a realistic picture of where DB Schenker stood in terms of its carbon footprint of all their transport modes and shed light on what the company’s decarbonisation ambitions were for the future. In that regard, the highlighted that DB Schenker has implement an overall -50% reduction in CO2 emissions, compared to 2006, and will become completely carbon-neutral and only use renewable energy by 2050. Mr Chamerois emphasised that the role of policy-makers was now to help kick-off and boost new technologies and energies, which would later be integrated into the normal processes of companies to guarantee the high-level service required by the citizens. Finally, he noted that the COVID-19 crisis had strengthened the governments’ recognition of the importance of logistics in the EU, while placing the focus of the policy-makers and the industry on green recovery in the coming years.
Paul Kyprianou, External Relations Manager, Grimaldi Group, introduced the commitment of the Grimaldi Group to the main objectives of the Green Deal in the transport sector, in particular the improvement of energy efficiency; acceleration of decarbonisation in maritime transport to reach climate neutrality; further promotion of the modal shift; adoption of renewable energy along the whole logistics chain and the promotion of innovation through R&D. Overall, the group’s environmental vision was gradual decarbonisation by offering logistics services with the lowest environmental footprint. Regarding the post-crisis recovery, Mr Kyprianou commended the positive move of the Commission to stimulate the economy as well as the strong sign of solidarity between the Member States. He then stressed that a great opportunity to accelerate the process towards green and digital logistics presented itself in the recovery phase. Eventually, he emphasised the importance of level playing field in terms of state aid, arguing that any financial assistance from the state should avoid a distortion of competition between the modes of transport or between operators.
Daniel Mes, Cabinet Member of Commission Executive President Frans Timmermans, praised the responsiveness of the logistics sector to the COVID-19 crisis and its commitment to move goods across Europe regardless of all the hindrances. He emphasised that the logistics sector was put at the heart of the initial Commission’s recovery proposals noting that this was unprecedented opportunity to move towards the smart and carbon-neutral transport and mobility system of the future. When it came to public support for companies’ fleet renewals, he specified that the Commission proposed to do so across the modes, with the focus on clean trucks, vessels and aircraft. Commenting on the Commission’s objective to shift a substantial part of freight currently carried by road onto rail and inland waterways, he argued that the COVID-19 situation highlighted the importance of these modes in that they were able to back up road freight in a crisis mode. He also specified that the Commission revamped the urban mobility agenda, as well as zero-emission, smart urban logistics, which would form a big part of the upcoming Commission’s Strategy on Sustainable and Smart Mobility. Eventually, he advised the logistics sector to claim the support for clean mobility in the upcoming national investment plans of Member States, as there would be a lot of competition with other sectors.
In concluding the event, Nicolette van der Jagt, Chair of the ELP, thanked the speakers for their valuable contributions and highlighted the importance of continued communication between the industry and the legislators as it proved to be indispensable throughout the crisis and remained equally needed in the recovery phase.
The European Logistics Platform consists of more than twenty industry stakeholders representing a wide variety of actors involved in logistics and supply chains across Europe. Current members are ACEA, Amazon, BDL, CER, CLECAT, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Duisport, ECG, ECSLA, ERFA, ESC, ESPO, FEPORT, FERRMED, FTA, Goodyear Operations Europe, Hutchison Whampoa, IRU, Michelin, NLA, Port of Rotterdam, P&G, TLN, UIRR, Volvo Group.
The press release can be downloaded here.