Categories: ESPO, EuropePublished On: 26.02.2020456 words2.3 min read

A Green Deal for European ports, their cities and their citizens

ESPO invites you to the 17th edition of the annual conference of the European Sea Ports Organisation, taking place in Oslo on 28 and 29 May. The conference is hosted by the Port of Oslo, Norway’s largest public cargo and passenger port. Don’t miss this annual highlight of the European Port Industry.

The theme of this year’s ESPO Conference is A Green Deal for European ports, their cities and their citizens.  

Mid-December 2019, the European Commission published the European Green Deal, laying out a commitment for Europe to become the world’s first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.

The 2020 ESPO Conference will discuss the concrete plans of the Commission to achieve these ambitions. Who does what? How can ports contribute? What are the most cost-effective measures? Which policy measures and which financial instruments are needed? What can other stakeholders do? Is a coalition of the willing needed?  In short: what is the best Green Deal for ports?

The 17th edition of the ESPO Conference will also assess what this all means for the port-city relationship. The energy transition and the increasing call of citizens for clean air risks to cast doubt over the positive role ports play for modern cities and their citizens. Under the motto “a good city has a port”, the conference will also identify what ports are offering to cities and local communities, why they are needed and how they are part of the solution.

In addition, the conference will also discuss changes in port dynamics and strategies. Should European ports focus more on added value, and less on volumes? Will sustainability and geopolitical, including health risks lead to reshoring of production activities and be a game changer in global trade?

As usual, the ESPO conference will take you through two days of high-level and thought-provoking presentations from experts combined with high-level policy discussions between the new policy makers in the Commission and Parliament and port industry representatives. The programme already features an impressive line-up of confirmed speakers. And more is yet to come!

The ESPO conference is more than just a conference. What about having a conference in the centre of Oslo, next to the new Munch museum and having dinner in the spectacular Opera House? What about enjoying the Norwegian spring in a city that breaths port and maritime heritage and is heading towards a zero-emission future?

Oslo Opera House (left) and Munch Museum (right, opening summer 2020)

So, reasons enough to register now and be part of the annual highlight of the European Port Industry. More information and full programme available at Be aware: given the high season, hotel block booking with interesting rates can only be kept shortly.