The Ports of Southern Europe have taken a united stance against the European Commission’s ETS (Emissions Trading System) directive coming into effect, in Algeciras. They have also requested the support of the IMO in ensuring that these measures be extended to all Mediterranean ports - whether they belong to the European Union or not - in order to avoid CO2 leakages and thus provide a level playing field for both European and third-country ports.

As the Port of Algeciras Bay Authority’s Chairman - Gerardo Landaluce - explained during the Workshop, “…this is a historic day, because all of the logistics chain is represented here and we have never been as unanimous as we have with this matter.”  He called the directive “inconsistent”, as it “…does not avoid either CO2 emissions or the creation of tax havens; nor does it align with the common EU strategy, where powerful active ports are needed – and not a directive that restricts our connectivity and competitivity.”

His view is shared among all the Southern European ports who took part in the encounter: Barcelona, Valencia, Las Palmas, Sines, and the Port Network of the South Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas.  Their managers have also raised the alarm about the loss of stable employment and business relocation.  On the international platform, IMO’s Chairman - Victor Jimenez - spoke of the need to work in a global framework, making public and private sector cooperation “fundamental”; and, representing ESPO - Santiago Garcia Mila - insisted that “we need to act now” and make ETS applicable to all the Mediterranean ports.