Slide Strategic Sessions

3.2 | Sustainable ports and airports (EU Green Deal and Flagship 2)

The recent EU developments, in particular the Green Deal, the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the ‘Efficient and Green Mobility’ package and the EU’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. The Green Deal is the main policy and legislative package for the greening of the European continent and its economy by 2050. Its most important part is the ‘Fit for 55’ package which aims to reduce the EU GHG emissions by 55% (as compared to 1990) by 2030. Here, the waterborne and air transport sectors are targeted by dedicated pieces of legislation – the FuelEU Maritime Initiative and the ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative – and other key proposals, mainly the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation and the revised EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The latter is critical as it will include much of both waterborne and air transport activities, leading to a paradigm shift for these sectors. 



The ‘Fit for 55’ requirements are complementary to or reinforce the broader approach enshrined in the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy adopted by the EU, which focuses on three key aspects: 

  • Sustainable mobility: an irreversible shift to zero-emission mobility
  • Smart mobility: uptake of digitalisation in its various forms in order to ensure a multimodal seamless, safe and efficient transport system, including higher automation
  • Resilient mobility in terms of climate, safety, security, economics, etc.


Also, according to this Strategy, airports and ports need to become zero-emissions by using clean technologies and digitalization, both for themselves and the transport services they facilitate. In addition, ports are recognized as potential “new clean energy hubs for integrated electricity systems, hydrogen and other low-carbon fuels, and testbeds for waste reuse and the circular economy”, thus greatly extending their importance.



A series of initiatives aimed at further cutting transport’s carbon footprint has recently been presented by the EC under the Efficient and Green Mobility package which covers four main topics: the development of the TEN-T network, the implementation of ITS, further support for and development of the rail sector and a new urban mobility strategy. Ports and airports are key elements and multimodal nodes along the TEN-T network, are most often part of or in the vicinity of major cities and are rolling-out digitalisation. Consequently, the new legislative package is of the highest importance for the aviation and waterborne transport sectors.


Objectives of the session:

  • Discuss the key environmental implications for ports and airports of the European strategies and Policies (Green Deal, ‘Fit for 55’, Climate Pact, ‘Efficient and Green Mobility’, Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy) in the 2030-time frame
  • Identify the critical RD&I gaps to be addressed
  • Outline which innovations are in the pipeline and will be a reality in the next 3-5 years
  • Discuss the development and implementation of technologies, operations and business models, to expand green and sustainable operations in maritime and inland ports, as well as airports and how these can enable the integration of waterborne and hinterland transport at air/port and logistics chains
  • Discuss how we can reach a holistic approach for the transition acceleration addressing all stakeholders, including logistics nodes, freight users e.o. so that Road, Rail, Air and waterways will truly become an integral part of the solution


Expected outcomes:

  • Identify and share best solutions and practices in terms of green and sustainable ports and airports, and their roles in the wider people and goods mobility
  • Identify gaps in existing R&I activities or mature solutions and propose new R&I priorities and investments to bridge them as necessary connecting/incremental developments
  • Identify and propose new, breakthrough R&I directions to reach the climate (and circular economy) targets for ports and airports, and the wider waterborne transport and aviation sectors.



  • Chair: WATERBORNE TP (Jaap Gebraad)
  • Co-chairs: ALICE (Tomas Ambra and Salvador Furio – Port of Valencia)




  • Marcel Rommerts, Head of Unit – Transport Research, CINEA
  • Inge de Wolf, PIONEERS Project Coordinator, Port of Antwerp-Bruges
  • Massimo Corradi, Head of Funded Initiatives Program Management (SEA Milan Airports)
  • Maarten Boot, Policy Advisor, FEPORT
  • Rosalinde van der Vlies, Director, Directorate C ‘Clean Planet’, DG RTD, EC
  • Ivo Cré, Director Policy & Projects, POLIS




  • Eero Lehtovaara, ABB Marine & Ports’ Head of Regulatory and Public Affairs, Chairman of WaterborneTP




  • Mihai Barcanescu, Project Manager, WaterborneTP
  • Tomas Ambra, Program Manager & Technical Lead, ALICE