Friday, 15 October 2021 13:34

EUSBSR in the eyes of PA Ship and PA Safe (I)

Written by  Let’s Communicate and PA Ship & Safe coordinators Josefine Eva Lilly Pallesen & Valtteri Laine

All the countries united by the EUSBSR have a connection to the Baltic Sea. Baltic Sea - an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean – is a key object that brings all BSR countries together. No wonder that Baltic Sea is important to all of us. One of the EUSBSR objectives is to “Save the sea”.

PA Safe and PA Ship are the two key strategic maritime Policy Areas under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. Both policy areas contribute to objective “Save the sea”. PA Safe contributes to sub-objective “Clean and safe shipping” and PA Ship contributes to the sub-objectives ’Clear water in the sea’ and ‘Clean and safe shipping’. PA Safe provides a sound platform for reinforcing maritime safety and security in the Baltic Sea region, while PA Ship helps to facilitate the transition to sustainable shipping industry and to make it a positive business opportunity.

Both PA Safe and PA Ship ensure that the horizontal aspects, notably addressing climate change and cooperation with non-EU neighbouring countries and organisations, are appropriately integrated into the work of the policy area.

Emissions are still a challenge

What are the major issues in the maritime sphere? Shipping is a major emitter of GHGs (greenhouse gas). PA Safe and PA Ship coordinator explained that studies show that upwards of 3 % of global CO2 emissions derives from maritime transport. Further, the Fourth IMO GHG study shows that the emissions from shipping are projected to be 90-130 % of 2008 emissions if no actions are taken. In order to mitigate the global climate threat connected to GHG emissions, actions must be taken. “Power-to-X is one of the technologies that needs to be developed further to serve as a primary fuel for shipping in the future, but the initial projects are now underway. We are also seeing a strong interest in offshore power supply for shipping, which can serve as a GHG reducing tool for vessels in ports as long as traditional bunkers are being used, but also have a role in the future where e-fuels are probably scarce and expensive”, PA Ship & Safe coordinator Mr. Valtteri Laine explains.

The Baltic Sea can serve as a test bed for testing new solutions, not only related to measures to reduce emissions, but also concerning issues connected to safety and security at sea, digitalization and autonomous shipping etc. With traffic increasing in the BSR, and as uncertain weather conditions and possible cyber threats increase, the regional and cross border cooperation is more necessary than ever, and it is the key to ensure that the Baltic Sea remains a safe place to ship and transfer both goods and people.

Sea connects the region

While talking about next decade of EUSBSR, PAC believes that the maritime domain will continue to be one of the main areas of cooperation for the Baltic Sea Region. “The sea is what connects us all, and all countries have an interest in cooperating and working together to solve our common challenges linked to the sea,” PAC Ms. Josefine Eva Lilly Pallesen claims. Two focus areas, which are of mutual interest for both PA Ship and Safe in the coming years, are the increased focus on digitalization, autonomous shipping and the green transitioning. The rising opportunities, and challenges, connected to these specific areas require cross-border cooperation and illustrates well how a macro-regional strategy can help to set the way to forward and define specific areas of mutual interest and possibilities to cooperate.

Reaching beyond the Baltic Sea

Moreover, in the coming years more focus on cross macro-regional cooperation regarding maritime issues will be necessary, and some projects are even leading the way on this, for example the STM Validation project. PA Ship flagship Project EMERGE holds partners not only in the BSR but also in the Mediterranean and beyond. The aims of EMERGE are to quantify and evaluate the effects of potential emission reduction solutions for shipping in Europe for several scenarios and develop effective strategies and measures to reduce the environmental impacts of shipping. These two projects illustrate that cross border and even cross macro-regional cooperation provides great value and should be sought out even more in the years to come.

Find out more about PA Safe & Ship and their activities here.

Read 1373 times Last modified on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 12:39