There are a number of policy documents at an international, national, regional and local level describing the future that Norway aspires to. The government wants Norway to become a zero-emission society by 2030. This is reflected in the Norwegian government’s Action Plan for Green Shipping, which states that Norwegian ports shall be zero-emission ports by 2030.
The Norwegian government’s maritime strategy Maritime Opportunities – Blue Growth for a Green Future is based on exploiting the untapped potential for greener shipping and developing new and existing technologies throughout the maritime sector. This will not happen automatically, so the various stakeholders involved must dedicate the necessary resources to it over the long term. In order to achieve the objectives set out, the authorities, research communities, and commercial and industrial players will have to collaborate on joint projects.
The City of Bergen has decided that parts of its port shall be moved out of the city centre to other places including Ågotnes. Bergen is currently Norway’s busiest port of call for cruise ships and it is very important to the tourism industry. However, receiving up to eight cruise ships per day so close to the city centre creates challenges. The City of Bergen has decided that the number of ships calling shall be reduced from eight to three per day.
Meanwhile, it is very likely that the number of cruise ships will rise in the future, once the restrictions related to Covid-19 (the illness caused by the new coronavirus) have been lifted and society has returned to normal. There are signs that new requirements for sustainability will be introduced. Cruise ships are likely to face restrictions on calling at historic city centres. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the Norwegian authorities had introduced a requirement for all cruise ships and ferries operating in its world heritage fjords to be zero-emission by 2026. This requirement is expected to be extended to other Norwegian fjords by 2030.
In the section on social priorities in Askøy’s municipal master plan, the stated aim is to promote maritime passenger services. The municipality also wants to encourage the use of renewable and alternative energy sources. Furthermore, it wants to attract new, green industries, as well as green jobs. It is a priority for the municipality to protect biodiversity.
Specific projects like Kildn are therefore needed to develop the practical answers to today’s challenges and tomorrow’s goals.