Structuring Towards Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport

“Look around. Did you know that the majority of goods around you were transported by a ship? Join STEERER in the quest for making waterborne transport a zero emission means of transport!”

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in 36 months
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funding 1,5 million euros


Oceans, seas, inland waterways and lakes are key to our climate, shape our environment, generate water and are becoming increasingly important as a source of raw materials, food and energy, as well as an essential transport route for the global trade flows and as places for living and recreation. Waterborne transport moves nearly 90% of all international trade, more than 75% of external EU trade and 40% of internal EU trade. In 2018, 139 million tons of CO2 were emitted from seagoing ships visiting European ports, which represented around 13% of total EU transport emissions. Globally, shipping emits over one billion tons of CO2, which accounts for 2-3% of total GHG emissions. To put this in perspective, if shipping was a country it would be the 6th biggest GHG emitter in the world. If no action is taken, these emissions are expected to increase by between 20 and 120% by 2050, driven by economic growth and the resulting increased demand for transportation of goods and people.

These figures, combined with an increasing demand for ocean going transport and the emerging citizen's movements demanding concrete actions to mitigate climate change, highlight the pressing need for actionable and impactful measures in all sectors, and in waterborne transport. The EU has adopted the European Green Deal as the cornerstone of its policy for the foreseeable future, with a strategy “that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use”.

STEERER (Structuring Towards Zero Emission Waterborne Transport) will coordinate the establishment and communication of a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda and an Implementation Plan towards zero-emission waterborne transport, in cooperation with all key stakeholders needed to facilitate the transformation to clean waterborne transport. In the definition of STEERER, as well as cutting greenhouse gas emissions, all harmful environmental emissions, water pollution and noise emissions have to be eliminated. STEERER’s mission is to bring the various initiatives and sectors’ stakeholders together to join forces for a combined effort with the maximum impact for the climate, people’s health and Europe’s economy.

STEERER aims to:

  • Jointly set emission targets towards 2050 (including targets for 2025 and 2030);
  • Contribute to the update of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the Co-Programmed Partnership on Zero-Emission Waterborne Transport (cPP ZEWT) in the framework of Horizon Europe, to be able to reach these targets in time;
  • Develop an Implementation Plan to reach the targets in due course while staying competitive and offering a valid business case;
  • Developing and implementing a communication campaign, aimed at broader awareness of the waterborne transport sector and its commitment towards zero-emission transport, to become a fully sustainable mode of transport;
  • Monitoring and assessing the implementation of the Strategy defined and adapting where necessary, after the project’s conclusion, by the Green Shipping Expert Group.

The consortium will function as a Secretariat, where the broader expertise is involved in the Scientific Committee (SC) and the Green Shipping Expert Group (GSEG) to be established by the project.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 875285.

Contact details:

Jaap Gebraad
Secretary General
Waterborne TP
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Andrea Hržić
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