Baltic region steams ahead for green technologies and alternative fuels
Enhanced regional cooperation on alternative fuels for ships have been a key matter in the Meeting of HELCOM Maritime Group closing today, which has followed up various maritime commitments of the HELCOM Copenhagen Ministerial Meeting in October 2013. Other agenda items include safety of navigation; ballast water; sewage discharges and port reception facilities and the detection, investigation and prosecution of offenders of anti-pollution regulations.
The creation of a joint "Green Technology and Alternative Fuels Platform for Shipping" was agreed upon last month at the HELCOM Ministerial Meeting, attended by all the Baltic coastal states and the EU as HELCOM Contracting Parties. The idea behind the platform is to gather national administrations, industry, research community and NGOs involved in green technologies and alternative fuels. The platform is currently emerging and a joint event for 16 January 2014 is currently organised by HELCOM, the Finnish presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS), Baltic Development Forum (BDF) and the Northern Dimension Partnership for Transport and Logistics (NDPTL). The platform is also related to the activities around the "St. Petersburg initiative", an international network to unite governmental, business and financing organizations for Baltic Sea cooperation established at the St. Petersburg summit April 2013.
A revised HELCOM compilation of statistics on cruise ship visits and sewage port reception facilities in Baltic Sea ports was also discussed at the meeting. The latest meeting of the HELCOM Cooperation Platform on Port Reception Facilities in the Baltic Sea, organised on 25 November 2013, provided updates for this overview to be published in early 2014. The Platform works to support the HELCOM countries in their work to upgrade the facilities so they are in position to report to IMO that adequate port reception facilities are available for the MARPOL Annex IV Special Area regulations to take effect.
The Meeting attracted 47 registered participants and it was chaired by Ms. Lolan Eriksson (Finland), the Chair of the HELCOM Maritime Group.
Note for editors:
Maritime transportation in the Baltic Sea region has steadily increased during the past decade. On the average, 2,000 ships are at sea every day. By 2017, maritime transport of goods in the region has been estimated to double.
The Maritime Group of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM MARITIME) identifies and promotes actions to limit sea-based pollution and ways for safer navigation. It also works to ensure enforcement and harmonized implementation of international shipping regulations.
HELCOM – Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – is an intergovernmental organisation of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the 'Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area', more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention.
For further information:
Professional Secretary HELCOM
Tel: +358 46 8509199
Information Secretary HELCOM
Tel: +358 40 523 8988