As part of the negotiation of the new European budgets for the new period 2021-2027, the European Motorways of the Sea initiative has presented its implementation plan, which is committed to a sustainable, continuous and intelligent European maritime area.
All of them objectives of the LAA of Cartagena, allowing a more sustainable transport of goods, replacing road transport with a more sustainable means such as the railway, and contributing to integrate the transport of maritime and rail goods in a continuous and seamless way. The LAA is also a key tool in the digitization of transport operations, favoring the optimization of goods and route management.
The LAA project is funded by the Connect Europe Mechanism. This Mechanism, during the period 2014-2020 has managed 23,700 million euros in aid to projects in the transport sector, of which 430 million euros have been earmarked for projects of the Motorways of the Sea initiative, and about 780M euros have been earmarked for projects in the main nodes of the different corridors.
In this period the port of Cartagena, as the main node of the Mediterranean corridor, has been a beneficiary of 2.5 Million euros, which have allowed to develop the projects of the LAA of Cartagena and the liquefied natural gas supply station in the dock of Escombreras.
In order to meet the challenges of the maritime sector in terms of emission reduction, integration and digitization, an adequate balance between public and private funding is required. Among the financial instruments highlighted by the Motorways of the Sea initiative in the upcoming period 2021-2027, the Connecting Europe Mechanisms will continue to support the transport sector, and will allocate 40% of its budget to project aid in the Motorways of the Sea initiative.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has announced its new policy, which istopping supporting fossil fuel-based energy projects and focusing on financing innovative clean energy projects, with the aim of aligning itself with the European Green Pact. The successor to the Juncker plan, the InvestEU Programme, will focus its investment support for the period 2021-2027 on the areas of sustainable infrastructure and digitization, among others.
The European Union’s R+D programme for the period 2021-2027, Horizon Europe, with an estimated budget of EUR 100,000 million, will also be crucial to advancing the efficiency of different modes of transport, and developing an intermodal and effective logistics chain, improving mobility sustainability.
In the private sector, green bonds stand out. The issuance of debt through these green bonds allows to attract private investors with the aim of financing sustainable projects. The Climate Bonds Initiative has created guidelines and standards to facilitate the certification of projects for the issuance of green bonds.
Finally, the proposal to provide eco-incentives to projects based on the achievements achieved in terms of social and environmental benefits is being studied by some countries and by the European Commission. The implementation of green taxonomy from this summer, whereby advertising the sustainability of companies and institutions must be supported by standard and objective criteria, can favor progress towards an effective implementation of eco-incentives or eco-bonds.
All these financing instruments will facilitate, over the next few years, that strategic projects such as the LAA of Cartagena can be a reality.