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Green Corridors

dr Wiktor Szydarowski | 18.02.2010

Wiktor Szydarowski, PhD | 18.02.2010

In April 2007 the European Commission published a document entitled "Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan", which dealt with issues such as planning, organization, management, control and performance of transport services in the supply chain. This document was incorporated into the package of initiatives aiming at improving efficiency and sustainable use of resources (sustainability) in the transport of goods on the European continent.

One of the recommended actions presented in the document was to establish "green" corridors connecting areas of high concentration of economic activity through different and complementary means of transport (modality). The corridors would have a slight impact on their surroundings as well. The idea of green corridors is to facilitate increasing transport intensity within EU and between EU and neighbouring countries. 

The process of writing The Action Plan initiated discussion on the practical application of the proposed concept. In spite of the fact that a precise definition of "green corridors" has not yet been formulated, as a result of various debates (The Conference in Brussels, 2009, amongst others) the following characteristics have been described: 

  • Green corridors should offer complementary transport services for suppliers and customers of the supply chain by integrating road and rail transport, short sea shipping and inland waterways.

  • Selecting the means of transport of goods within the green corridor is an autonomous decision of suppliers and customers, as long as they are able to demonstrate energy efficiency and reduced impact on the environment; this entails a need for certain control mechanisms and evaluation;

  • Strategic areas and sections of the corridor (e.g. seaports, inland ports, logistic terminals, etc.) should be equipped with appropriate transshipment infrastructure and  filling stations , providing fuel derived from renewable resources;

  • Green corridors should function as areas for testing new transport technologies and remote traffic control systems. Only if the administrative laws of all countries are harmonized and free access for all stakeholders is ensured, the corridors will function correctly. 

Although the concept of green corridors was born in the Netherlands, Sweden has become the country of its widest practical application. A workgroup was appointed and chaired by the Swedish Government's plenipotentiary for the green corridors at the end of 2008. The group included representatives of business circles, scientific research institutions and Central Administration (road administration, railways and seaports). During an inventory of current projects which are inherent to the concept of green corridors, the group enrolled representatives of regions, who are leaders of the 3 Objective project of Cohesion Policy in the Baltic Sea Region (e.g. TransBaltic i East-West Transport Corridor II).

The activity of the workgroup resulted in a Swedish Government initiative which aims to create a separate action plan for green transport corridors, providing the basis for their planning and establishment. The pretext for this is the process of revising the guidelines of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) initiated by the European Commission at the end of 2009. The Swedish put forward the ide of far-reaching integration of various, often disparate concepts of transport networks - such as the basic layout of the new TEN-T (so-called core network), rail freight network and sea motorways with the concept of green corridors. Accordingly, all the elements included in the core network of the new TEN-T should meet the criteria relating to green corridors, which would be formulated in the abovementioned action plan along with the rules of creating quantified indicators to assess the corridors . In addition, sea motorways would form an integral part of the green corridors where appropriate (e.g. in the Baltic Sea Region).

The presented position also implies that, at the European Commission level, the financial instruments will be (functionally) integrated in order to support the creation of green corridors. Significant drawbacks of the current financial perspective are the excessive fragmentation of financial instruments and targeted only to a selected group of beneficiaries (e.g. Marco Polo, MoS projects co-financed from the TEN-T programme, the EU Structural Funds, etc.).

Decisions about the design concept of green corridors will be made in the spring of 2010. 


  • Tag's:

    zrównoważony transport, zagospodarowanie przestrzenne, Unia Europejska

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