The need for the shipping industry to gradually move, “from the current uncertainty, to a predictable environment that will guide future investments and ensure that they will deliver the expected benefits for the environment”, the Minister of Shipping and Island Policy, Mr. Giannis Plakiotakis pointed out at the 1st Greek-Cypriot Business Summit, on the subject of the road to the decarbonization of the Shipping industry.
“Any new measures, including those of an environmental nature”, noted Mr. Plakiotakis, “must be practical, realistic and feasible, taking into account on the one hand the specific characteristics of each model of maritime activity and on the other hand the central environmental principles – most importantly the principle of “the polluter pays”. In shipping, this means that the cost of the energy transition should be able to be passed on to the ship’s commercial operator.”
“Greece, having a clear orientation and ally of other shipping states of a similar mind, such as Cyprus, will continue to contribute with solid proposals to the ongoing negotiations at EU and International Maritime Organization level on the new environmental legislation, with the aim of adopting regulations after the adoption of clean energy in a comprehensive way, without compromising the sovereignty of European shipping and the resilience of our economies, especially the growth prospects and prosperity of the most vulnerable citizens such as islanders “.
The war in Ukraine
Referring to the crisis in Ukraine, Mr. Plakiotakis noted that “our two main priorities are: first, to address threats to the safety of navigation and, above all, seafarers, and second, the economic impact on shipping, such as the further increase in the cost of shipping fuel.” In terms of EU sanctions against Russia, “our concern”, said Mr. Plakiotakis, “is to preserve the message that must be sent to the attacking state, but at the same time ensuring the basic principle that we must not harm our own economies more than that of the attacking state. Sanctions should be accompanied by a documented impact analysis to avoid shortages of critical goods for the operation of equally critical sectors of the European economy – including our own shipping.”
Greece-Cyprus maritime connection
Finally, regarding the Greek-Cypriot ferry connection, Mr. Plakiotakis spoke about the “valuable contribution of the European Commission”, thanks to which “it was possible to realize a mutual pursuit of Greece and Cyprus”. “From the first moment, the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy”, he added, “supported with all means at its disposal this initiative and now after 21 whole years, Greeks and Cypriots will be able to travel by sea transporting their private vehicle, while we should not forget the important imprint that this ferry connection is expected to leave on the tourism of both countries.”