Ports will play a pivotal role in Europe’s decarbonisation agenda. The complex cross section of industries facilitated by and operating within ports has huge potential for significantly reducing Europe’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and aiding the transition to clean energy. Alongside traditional port activities such as cargo, logistics and supporting the shipping industry, the larger ports, or “mini-cities” also support energy‑intensive industries such as chemicals, cement, and manufacturing, and some support the energy industry itself in the form of energy generation, import and export, and energy grids. All of these industry “clusters” present a range of pathways towards decarbonisation and the transition to clean energy.
Due to the complex, multifaceted nature of ports, a coordinated strategy and a multi-pronged approach between port authorities and all stakeholders within ports will be vital to maximise the uptake of carbon-neutral technologies. Ports will need to utilise a whole range of actions across all business areas to significantly reduce their emissions. Innovative technology already exists to enable significant gains in this space, and early uptake can harness a strong competitive advantage for those forward-thinking ports.
Here, we outline a number of practical and innovative solutions to include in port decarbonisation strategies and we encourage port authorities and stakeholders to actively explore the solutions outlined in this brochure. We also highlight promising initiatives already being undertaken by European ports which demonstrate what can be achieved in this space with cutting-edge technologies.