Welcome news seen on ESO’s website
The European Skippers Organisation (ESO) was set up to make the voices of the European Barge Union (EBU) and independent inland waterway transport (IWT) entrepreneurs clearly heard by the European Commission. Over the years, the organisation has occupied itself with various matters, including market regulation, fleet renewal, market observation, waterway bottlenecks, inland shipping promotion, crew regulation, training, accommodation, environmental problems and River Information Services.
2019: Brussels sees IWT as a serious and sustainable alternative
ESO reports that in December, the European Commission presented its climate plans for the next decades. To reach the climate goals and reduce greenhouse gases the EC wants to give inland shipping a bigger role in transport in the EU, conveying more cargo, improving existing infrastructure and building new waterways. Never before has such a policy been made in favour of inland shipping which will move forward and do the utmost to fulfil the challenges ahead, for the benefit of people, planet and prosperity.
UK at Forefront of Transport Innovation (not)
Surprisingly there was no reference to the potential of water freight in a major report (UK at the Forefront of Transport Innovation) on how the UK can capitalise on opportunities offered by transport technologies and innovation to benefit the economy, society and the citizen. It was published on 31st January 2019 by the Government Office for Science.
Waterborne Technology Platform, the European research and innovation platform for waterborne industries published their January 2019 report presenting vision, strategy, time-path and expected benefits of targeted research into inland waterway transport and ports.
The EU’s Green Transport Deal
A Euractive Green Deal article reports that in October, climate chief Frans Timmermans told the European Parliament that he wants to establish ‘green ports’ around Europe, which offer clean refuelling infrastructure and reduced costs for less-polluting ships.
Boats, barges and ships will form a vital part of the new mobility plan in the EC proposal to shift a “substantial” part of the 75% of freight carried by road to inland waterways and rail.