ESPO 2024 Conference ahead of EU elections

Source ESPO

ESPO Conference – 25 and 26 April 2024 – Paris

Net zero, resilient and competitive ports: Acting now to deliver tomorrow

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes you to the heart of Paris on 25 and 26 April for the 20th edition of its Annual Conference. This year’s conference is being organised jointly with Union des Ports de France, our host for this special Olympic edition.

Much to discuss

In 2024, the new normal is likely to be defined by geo-economic and geopolitical tensions leading to more frequent supply chain disruptions, greater volatility in energy markets and more intense international competition. Add to this the need for action and progress on the ambitions and concrete policies that Europe has put in place over the last five years, and it is clear that there is much to discuss.

Reason enough for the European port community to come together in Paris, for ports and port stakeholders to put their heads together, share knowledge, try to take stock and together pave the way towards a sustainable, resilient, smart and more competitive Europe, in which ports play a critical and strategic role more than ever.

The varied programme outlined

On the first day of the conference, delegates will hear from experts on the economic and energy outlook for Europe’s ports. After these scene-setting presentations, three port academics will discuss how they see the future of ports in this changing world. This will be followed by an out-of-the-box presentation on how ports could increasingly become a resource for the city. The floor will then be given to some port CEOs to comment.

The afternoon of the first day will focus on implementation. As the five-year European political cycle comes to an end and a new Commission and Parliament arrive, there will be an opportunity to take stock of what has been agreed in recent years and what needs to be done to most effectively support the implementation of European policies and legislative initiatives.

Whether it is meeting hydrogen production and import targets, defining the role of ports in carbon capture and storage, implementing the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in the maritime sector, or corporate sustainability reporting and due diligence, experts will explain where we are and the challenges we face to get there. The final presentation of the first day will introduce participants to the world of Artificial Intelligence, who knows, maybe the biggest game changer after all.

The second day of the conference will focus on investment. What is the investment outlook for European ports? What are the main categories of investment over the next ten years? What are the overall investment needs of European ports? The new ESPO Port Investment Study will provide a detailed insight into these questions. Secondly, we will focus on how all these investments can actually be financed. What is the role of banks in financing sustainable port projects? How is the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) responding to ports’ requests for funding? What does the Commission have in mind for ports and port investments when preparing the new Connecting Europe Facility?

The morning will continue with discussions on how to strengthen the resilience of ports given their strategic nature, while continuing to support them in their role as Europe’s main commercial gateway to the world.

The conference will conclude with a policy debate, taking stock of the last five years and looking at the priorities for the future. Accelerating decarbonisation, improving resilience, strengthening competitiveness – how best to achieve this? Has policy been an enabler?

The programme, registration process and further details

Source: ESPO Press Release – February 15, 2024.

Image credit: Union des Ports de France



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