Rotterdam and Oslo will accelerate the green transition in the maritime sector Credit: © Robin Utrecht. From left to right: Ingvar Mathisen, Bård Ivar Svendsen, Robert Simons, Rina Hansen, Boudewijn Siemons.

The City of Rotterdam and the City of Oslohave agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate the green transition in the maritime sector. Both cities have very ambitious climate targets for reducing climate emission. This formal partnership focuses on providing the cities a framework to strengthen their ties of friendship and to enhance cooperation in the field of maritime transport and related industries in order to promote green sustainable transport solutions between the cities and decarbonization of their economies.

“As maritime capitals of the world working towards a green transition, this partnership empowers our city-to-city cooperation on sustainable transport solutions between the two port cities and will help guide our exchanges to promote sustainbility and innovation in the maritime sector.” said Vice Mayor of Rotterdam Robert Simons.

“This is a milestone in the important and long-term effort to ensure emissions-free maritime transport between our cities. Port cities stand to gain a lot from close and effective collaboration, and our two cities collectively possess significant maritime expertise. It is crucial that we as local governments are aware of the barriers and work together with the industry to find the right solutions. This green corridor will help both Rotterdam and Oslo in achieving our climate goals and, at the same time, inspire other port cities. City and port must work together – our collaboration is a prime example of just that.” said Rina Mariann Hansen, Vice Mayor of Business Development and Public Ownership in Oslo.

Memorandum of Understanding

The MoU was signed by Rina Hansen, Vice Mayor for Business Development and Public Ownership of the City of Oslo and Robert Simons, Vice Mayor for Port, Economy, Hospitality and Governance of the City of Rotterdam, on September 20 2023, in Rotterdam. Bård Ivar Svendsen, Norway's Ambassador to the Netherlands, participated together with public and private stakeholders from Oslo and Rotterdam in the signing ceremony to celebrate this momentous occasion.

The City of Rotterdam and the City of Oslo encourage the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Oslo to engage in further dialogue by sharing relevant solutions and knowledge.

Boudewijn Siemons, CEO a.i. & COO at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “The shipping route between the ports of Oslo and Rotterdam has been an important line for many shipping companies for many years. In our new alliance, we are looking beyond freight tonnage: we are both ambitious about making our ports, industry and shipping more sustainable. And we know that we cannot do this on our own: we will have to join forces with parties around the world. So I see a lot of opportunities for teaming up with Oslo on shore power, hydrogen and green marine fuels.”

“Port of Oslo look forward to strengthening collaboration with Port of Rotterdam. Achieving zero-emission transport is a crucial step in addressing climate change and improving sustainability in the logistics industry. Together, we can pioneer green technologies and practices that not only reduce emissions but also enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of our ports and the entire logistics network. This "Green Corridor" initiative signifies our shared commitment to a sustainable future, and we are eager to work together to make it a reality.“ said Ingvar Mathisen, CEO and Port Director of Port of Oslo.

Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, CEO at Samskip Holding BV, said: “Samskip celebrates both the cooperative endeavors of this partnership, as well as this momentous occasion and the positive results that come from the green transition efforts. We must take responsibility for the future of our industry and planet and contribute to a cleaner and brighter future for everyone. We at Samskip continue to full heartedly support such initiatives ie. Zero-emission hydrogen vessels, and continue to nurture the relationship and bridge we have built between Rotterdam and Oslo.”

Trade relationship Rotterdam and Oslo

Both cities have a longstanding relationship as port cities with business and trade. The cities share a considerable maritime history and, more recently in the last decades, a firm commitment for the green transition.

Bård Ivar Svendsen, Norway's Ambassador to the Netherlands, said: “Norway and the Netherlands are leading maritime nations that have committed themselves to supporting the green transition of the maritime sector. Today’s signing of this MoU between The Cities of Oslo and Rotterdam shows the leadership these two cities are taking to secure a green future for shipping.”