Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management
"Inland waterway transport is an indispensable asset for the smooth flow of freight between mainports such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zeeland and Antwerp and the European hinterland. Three out of nine corridors in the Trans European Network for Transport originate or end in the Netherlands. The European Green Capital of 2018, Nijmegen, is located on one of these, on the Rhine-Alpine corridor.
Entrepreneurs in inland shipping have asked me to integrate the various policy lines for climate, energy, transport and the environment. They want to get rid of the uncertainties that follow from a separation between the various policy lines. They would prefer to embark on a policy line of radical greening. Consequently, together we have identified a clear point on the horizon: inland waterway transport is to be zero-emission and climate neutral by 2050. We can’t do this by ourselves though. So, I also attach great importance to the role of the European Commission in forging pan-European solutions for pan-European problems.
The Paris treaty asks for a clear pathway for emission reduction from 1990 to 2050. Before summer 2018, I expect that in the Netherlands we can agree on an intermediate target for CO2 emissions by 2030. I am aiming at a green deal, with many stakeholders in the logistics sector and the communities with connections to waterborne transport, to be concluded towards the end of calendar year 2018. The Ports and the City conference offers an excellent platform for dialogue with stakeholders, not only from the Netherlands, but also from countries that are our neighbours in the catchment areas of the rivers Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt.
For now, I wish the city of Nijmegen and all those involved in the organization of the Ports and the City conference, the best of luck in creating a prominent milestone in the process of forging a green deal."