“Green Deal – Green Danube. The climate friendly transport axis.” is the motto of Danube Business Talks 2022. This event organised by viadonau took place on 12 and 13 October 2022 in Linz, Austria. Private and public stakeholders covered a lot of topics related to economic impulses and innovations on Danube. Theresia Hacksteiner and Janeta Toma represented the European IWT Platform at this event.
Ms Theresia Hacksteiner, Secretary General EBU stressed that Danube’s cargo transport potential can be realized given inland waterways comparable advantages over other transport modes. Danube has the capacity to absorb higher volumes of cargo and efficiently service new IWT markets such as urban passenger and tourism, new cargo flows stimulated by the circular economy and the transport of renewable energies, and the components needed for its generation.
However, maintaining the continuous reliability of navigation on the Danube remains a serious concern. In 2022, serious disruptions impacted Danube’s cargo transport capacity, with Danube being blocked for more than 60 days. Therefore, waterway infrastructure development, maintenance and upgrading are a prerequisite. She commended viadonau for ensuring in an outstanding manner the reliability of the Austrian Danube navigation sector and welcomed the new R&D projects aiming at increasing the waterway quality. Regarding the IWT sector climate neutrality, it was pointed out that ensuring the right funding conditions to support the IWT sector’s energy transition is of paramount importance. Along with other speakers, it was stressed that the deployment of alternative fuels and bunkering facilities requires a common and harmonized approach. The successful implementation of the current EU policy and legislative framework must be accompanied by stronger political support.