The Green Deal Inland Shipping is gaining momentum in Flanders, Belgium. Like many other industries, inland shipping is facing the challenge of sustainability. The European, national, and regional levels have established objectives to address this challenge, focusing on three main pillars: emission reduction, promoting environmentally conscious mobility, and achieving a modal shift. The aim is to achieve a zero-emission inland shipping industry by 2050.
To turn this vision into reality, key stakeholders have joined forces in Flanders. De Vlaamse Waterweg nv, the Department of Mobility and Public Works (MOW), Port of Antwerp-Bruges, North Sea Port, Knowledge Center Inland Navigation Flanders, and the Belgian Inland Navigation Federation have collaboratively developed the Flemish Green Deal Inland Shipping. This initiative is designed to drive visible change, with milestones set for greening Flemish inland shipping by 2026, 2030, and ultimately 2050.
The creation of the Flemish Green Deal Inland Shipping was a comprehensive process that involved various stakeholders from the inland shipping sector. Together, they identified the challenges and obstacles associated with greening and formulated an ambition statement along with strategic and operational objectives. These objectives were aligned with the Declaration of Mannheim by the CCR (Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine) and the European Green Deal, recognizing the cross-border nature of inland shipping.
To ensure a seamless transition, the Flemish Green Deal Inland Shipping initiative is built upon four thematic working domains:
- Technological Solutions: Harnessing innovative technologies to achieve greener inland shipping practices.
- Financial Solutions: Creating financial mechanisms to support sustainable initiatives in the industry.
- Policy Support: Advocating for policies that promote and accelerate the adoption of eco-friendly practices.
- Implementation: Translating strategies into tangible actions through effective collaboration and continuous improvement.
However, the success of this endeavour depends not only on the organizations driving the Flemish Green Deal Inland Shipping initiative but also on the active participation of stakeholders within the inland shipping sector. Whether you are a shipper, an inland shipping entrepreneur, a financial institution, a knowledge institution, or a technology company, your expertise and efforts can contribute significantly to the Green Deal Inland Shipping.
If you are involved in the inland shipping sector and wish to contribute to greening efforts, you are invited to sign the draft declaration of commitment, signalling your support for the Flemish Green Deal Inland Shipping initiative. By signing the declaration, you will have the opportunity to select specific objectives you want to contribute to and embark on a journey towards greening your company or organization.
Once you have completed the declaration of commitment, the partners of the Green Deal may contact you regarding the official launch event on June 23, 2023, at Havenhuis Antwerp. You will also have the opportunity to participate in discussions, working groups, workshops, pilot projects, and more, all related to the objectives you have chosen. Specific dates for these activities will be communicated in due course.
The Green Deal Inland Shipping offers a unique opportunity to shape the future of our waterways, protect the environment, and enhance the quality of life for generations to come. Let us embark on this remarkable journey towards emission-free waterways by 2050, setting a new standard for sustainable inland navigation.