Home / Shipping News / International Shipping News / IMO’s GHG reduction goals discussed in Copenhagen

IMO’s GHG reduction goals discussed in Copenhagen

The Harbours Review Spotlight: GHG Emissions in Shipping seminar concluded yesterday in Copenhagen, Denmark. The event, organized in cooperation with Danish Shipping produced many valuable conclusions that will hopefully help stakeholders to approach this complex issue.

Maria Skipper Schwenn, representing the host of the seminar, Danish Shipping, set the stage for the discussion mentioning the importance of creating a level playing field for all parties involved during her brief opening speech. After that the audience has been left in the hands of the seminar’s moderator, Niels Bjørn Mortensen.

The first session gave the participants an overview of the regulatory framework behind the GHG emission reduction goals set by IMO. Representing the aforementioned was John Calleya, their Technical Officer, reassuring that IMO remains committed to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and stating that technological innovation and global implementation of alternative fuels and energy sources will be integral to achieving the overall ambition.

The importance of prioritizing the measures already available has been underscored by Petra Doubkova, Policy Officer at EC’s DG MOVE. Reduction needs to happen as soon as possible by building upon existing instruments. Possible short-term measures cited by Ms Doubkova included the strengthening of EEDI for new ships, by, among other things, possible tightening of the reduction rates, also improving the energy efficiency of existing ships and optimization or better management of speed. A silver-bullet solution does not yet exist.

After a short break voice has been given to a representative of the shipowners themselves. Poul Woodall, Director for Environment and Sustainability at DFDS, shared his views on the best path to achieving the emission reduction goals. Before shipowners can and will make a move, the regulators need to support them with clear guidelines as to what to report and how exactly it needs to be done. A lack of clear instructions will result in a lack of action due to fear of making the wrong investments. Mr Woodall also stated that the first planned emission cuts, i.e. the reduction of average carbon intensity by 40% by 2030, can be achieved with current technology.

The improvement of existing fleets as the key short-term measure has also been cited by Dr Dimitrios Dalaklis of the World Maritime University, as the implementation of new technologies won’t be the immediate next step on the road to emission reduction. Furthermore, a solid and updated benchmark is needed for the next steps to happen.

It was then time to shift the focus of the participants to the role of ports in addressing the matter at hand. In his presentation, Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl, representing BIMCO, tackled the impact that ports might have on emission reduction. A lot of attention has been paid to the concept of just-in-time arrivals as one of the efficient ways of reaching the reduction goals. Key requirement for it to be implemented is excellent communication between all of the involved parties. This may be difficult to achieve though, due to the shipping sector’s conservative nature.

The presentation was expanded upon by a representative of the port sector itself. Gert Nørgaard, Manager for Strategy & Planning, Copenhagen Malmö Port admitted that ship emissions are considered a major struggle point for ships, carbon emissions being no exception. He also expressed worries that the speed at which international environmental regulations are being implemented is too slow, mainly due to sluggish decision-making process.

The first day of the seminar ended with a presentation on the topic of cost efficiency of different emission abatement technologies, delivered by Johanna Yliskylä-Peuralahti of the University of Turku. Ms Yliskylä-Peuralahti underscored the need for a holistic approach to the choice and implementation of solutions being necessary to achieve the goals set but the policymakers.

Day two kicked off with an analysis of the shippers’ influence on the shipowners’ stance on GHG emissions. Jordi Espin Vallbona, Policy Manager for Maritime Transport at European Shippers’ Council, underlined the fact that a high transparency level is needed for an honest discussion between all the involved stakeholders. One should also not forget that a lot can be learned from previous initiatives, such as the implementation of SECA in the Baltic region and the upcoming 2020 global Sulphur cap. Mr Vallbona has also assured the audience that the shippers are well aware of the high compliance costs the shipowners carry.

A close look at concrete solutions to the discussed problem has been provided by representatives from ABB and Nauticor. Roberto Bernacchi, Shore-to-ship power & Smart Ports Global Product Manager at ABB gave an overview of the benefits of cold ironing, both for the ports and the shipowners, emphasizing on-shore power supply being a great solution for local needs. Jan Schubert, Senior Manager for Sales & Business Development at Nauticor on the other hand, discussed the idea of LNG as the fuel for the zero emission era. LNG can offer some GHG emission reduction potential but one has to take into account the problem of methane slip. During his presentation, Mr Schubert also mentioned liquefied biogas (LBG) as the possible next step in the discussion surrounding future fuels. LBG reduces, or in some cases even eliminates, the risk of methane slip, while at the same time allowing for a nearly 100% reduction of CO2 emissions.

The very last presentation of the seminar was delivered by Mark Clintworth of the European Investment Bank, giving the audience an overview of the institution’s green shipping programmes. The Green Shipping Guarantee Programme’s (GSGP) focus is to de-risk environmentally focused investments, with the main objective being the development of a sustainable, scalable and commercial financial instrument for accelerating investments in greener shipping.

The event concluded with a discussion panel summing up the tools available to stakeholders for meeting the emission reduction goals and how they can be utilized. The panel will be covered in greater detail in a future newsletter.

The meeting was a part of the Harbours Review Spotlight seminar series. Organized by Actia Forum and hosted by Danish Shipping, it enjoyed an honorary partnership by BIMCO and support by ABB and Nauticor.
Source: Actia Forum

Recent Videos

Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide Online Daily Newspaper on Hellenic and International Shipping