Shipping at COP25: Full speed ahead towards full decarbonisation
Friday at COP 25, the UN Climate Change Conference, in Madrid, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), and the Spanish Shipowners’ Association (ANAVE) organised an event dedicated to the decarbonisation of shipping.
“As shipping’s global regulator, the UN International Maritime Organization has successfully enhanced the sector’s impressive environmental performance through a comprehensive framework of regulations which enjoy robust enforcement worldwide and this includes greenhouse gas reduction,” said Simon Bennett, ICS Deputy Secretary General.
“There are already mandatory CO2 reduction regulations in force globally that will require all new ships to be at least 30% more carbon-efficient by 2025, with a 50% improvement by large containerships by 2022. In line with the ambitious CO2 reduction targets which IMO Member States agreed last year, the IMO will adopt a new package of regulations in 2020 with a focus on operational fuel efficiency and speed optimisation. This should ensure further CO2 reductions by 2023 and that the sector is on track to exceed the IMO target of a 40% efficiency improvement across the entire world fleet by 2030.
“The industry’s greatest priority is to help the IMO make rapid progress with implementing its very ambitious 2050 target, cutting the sector’s total CO2 emissions, regardless of trade growth, by at least 50%, with full decarbonisation soon after. Accelerating R&D of zero-carbon technologies and propulsion systems that can be applied on trans-oceanic ships must therefore be at the heart of the IMO strategy.”
Following the ICS’s presentation, ECSA commented on the European front following the announcement of the European Green Deal on Wednesday.
“The industry fully supports the ambition by the new European Commission to be the first climate-neutral continent. Moreover the climate emergency is a global crisis, it needs a global strategy. We really need the EU to play a proactive and positive role in the IMO discussions supporting the development and adoption of ambitious international regulations to be applied globally as soon as possible,” commented Martin Dorsman, ECSA Secretary-General.
“We urgently need new technologies and alternative fuels. The EU can support R&D by making EU funds suitable for use by the shipping industry and the broader maritime cluster. Europe must support pilot projects and the deployment of bunkering infrastructure in EU ports for new fuels.”
ANAVE Director-General Manuel Carlier followed up with examples of success stories.
“Shipping is the transport mode with lower CO2 emissions per t x km. By promoting the shift of cargo and passengers from road and air to the sea, we will effectively lower CO2 emissions,” he said.
“For example, 50% of trucks have been shifted to the Motorways of the Sea between Italy and Spain in the western Mediterranean. That is a lot of CO2 reductions obtained. The same is done in passenger transport between the Canary Islands, where moving one passenger from plane to ship means reducing CO2 emissions by more than 80%.”
The event at COP25 was well-attended and it closed with an open discussion with the audience.