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emissions

The UK should include aviation and shipping in net zero emission goal

The aviation and shipping sectors should formally be included in Britain’s target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, the government’s climate advisers said on Tuesday.

Britain earlier this year became the first G7 country to set a net zero emission target although the shipping and aviation sectors were not explicitly included in the goal.

Combined the two sectors account for around 5% of global greenhouse emissions but if left unchecked this is expected to grow significantly, particularly as passenger flying numbers increase.

“Now is the time to bring the UK’s international aviation and shipping emissions formally within the UK’s net-zero target. These are real emissions, requiring a credible plan to manage them to net-zero by 2050,” Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), said in an email.

The CCC said, in a letter to Britain’s transport minister, Grant Shapps on Tuesday, emissions from aviation could be reduced by around a fifth by 2050 by using sustainable biofuels, improving fuel efficiency and limiting demand growth to at most 25% above current levels.

It said zero-carbon aviation is unlikely to be feasible by 2050 and that greenhouse gas removal methods would be needed to offset remaining emissions.

The CCC said the government said could establish a market for scalable greenhouse gas removal solutions, such as bioenergy carbon capture and storage, which sees emissions from lower carbon biofuels captured and stored to prevent them going into the atmosphere.

In the shipping sector zero carbon or near zero carbon could be feasible by 2050 the CCC said, if there is a widespread adoption of cleaner and as yet mostly so far untried fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia.

The CCC advice came as several ports, banks, oil and shipping companies on Monday launched an initiative which aims to have ships and marine fuels with zero carbon emissions on the high seas by 2030.

The International Civil Aviation Organization has committed to a target of halving net emissions by 2050, compared to 2005 levels and is working on a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for (CORSIA) which requires most airlines to limit emissions or offset them by buying credits from environmental projects.

The CCC, which is independent of the government, is chaired by former British environment secretary John Gummer and includes business and academic experts.

Source: Reuters.com

global

IMO talks work towards climate goals

Tightened energy efficiency targets and a commitment to further discuss proposed speed reduction rules were the key outcomes of the International Martime Organisation’s (IMO) latest round of talks, held in London last week.

But environmental campaigners were quick to argue the results showed a “total lack of ambition” on the part of the shipping industry, which currently emits three per cent of global CO2 emissions but risks seeing its share expand to 10 per cent by 2050 unless efforts to decarbonise accelerate.

With some members and leading shipping operators calling for bolder climate policies and others continuing to push back against proposals that they fear would impose new costs on their national shipping industries, the IMO agreed to tighten energy efficiency targets for new vessels across seven ship types.

The accelerated targets for containers, general cargo ships, hybrid diesel-electric cruise ships, and LPG and LNG carriers cover about 30 per cent of ships and about 40 per cent of CO2 emitted from ships subject to energy efficiency regulations.

The measures could reduce CO2 emissions by 750 million tonnes of CO2 cumulatively from 2022 to 2050, equivalent to about two per cent of all emissions from the industry over that time period, according to an analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

The IMO also committed to considering additional requirements for new ships after 2025 and looking at new efficiency requirements for in-use vehicles at the next meeting, fueling hopes standards could be strengthened as investment in cleaner shipping technologies steps up.

“IMO’s move shows that further efficiency improvements are still possible for fossil fueled ships,” said Bryan Comer, senior researcher in the ICCT’s marine program. “Future standards should promote new technologies like wind assist and eventually zero emission fuels like hydrogen and electricity.”

However, a decision on whether to implement speed reduction targets was kicked down the road, and will now be taken up at the IMO’s next GHG working group in November. The deferral of any decision on speed limits came despite a joint letter signed by over 100 shipping CEOS ahead of the MEPC74 talks calling for global speed limits at sea, which is widely seen as the most effective short-term measure for curbing the industry’s emissions.

“We’ve seen over 100 individual shipping companies united with NGOs in calling for speed reduction, overruling the policy stance of the industry associations,” said Faig Abbasov, shipping policy manager at Transport and the Environment. “The shipping industry associations no longer represent the best interests of shipping companies.”

Countries who blocked further action reportedly included Saudi Arabia, the US, Brazil, and Cook Islands, with opposition to the speed reduction proposals also understood to have come from Chile and Peru.

The outcome from the meeting should provide a boost to investment in fuel efficiency measures across the sector, but it will also provide further ammunition for those shipping operators and environmental campaigners who accuse the international body of failing to deliver sufficiently ambitious climate policies.

Aviation and shipping are the only two industries to operate outside the framework of national climate action plans established by the Paris Agreement, with the IMO and its sister body the International  Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) instead tasked with delivering new policies to curb emissions from the carbon intensive sectors.

But while the ICAO has come forward with detailed plans for an international carbon offsetting scheme, albeit one that has continued to face criticism from green groups, IMO has made much slower progress in delivering new policy proposals.

In April 2018, the IMO responded to post Paris Agreement calls for it to deliver a new strategy by announcing targets to reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. As a mid-term goal, it pledged to reduce the carbon intensity of the sector by at least 40 per cent by 2030. In order to achieve these targets, it promised to produce a detailed plan for emissions reduction by 2023 as well as immediate measures to achieve greenhouse gas reductions before this.

Without extensive action to tackle emissions, the shipping industry – which was exempted from the Paris Agreement – could see them grow 250 per cent by 2050 as trade increases, according to a 2014 study by the IMO.

A 2018 report from the OECD warned that failure to act would leave the sector emitting the equivalent of well over 200 coal power stations by 2035. The think tank called for more research into zero carbon technologies, greater transparency on carbon footprints within the industry, a carbon price for global shipping, and other mechanisms to incentivise efficiency such as ports differentiating fees based on environmental criteria.

Also last week, environmental campaigners demanded a moratorium on the shipping industry’s use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS), known as scrubber technology.

EGCS were seen as a possible route to ensure compliance with IMO rules which will enforce the use of bunker fuels with a sulphur content of 0.5 per cent from 2020, down from the existing limit of 3.5 per cent. But concerns over their efficacy have been thrown into sharp relief by their role in an ongoing case against cruise operator Carnival Corporation, in which multiple EGCS failures contributed to significant air and water pollution violations.

With the clock ticking, international pressure is intensifying on the IMO to take meaningful steps towards meeting its own emission reduction targets. Focus will now move on to the organisation’s next session in November with hopes growing that recent calls for bolder action are finally taken on board.

Source: Businessgreen.com

future of shipping

Maritime black carbon emissions must decrease

The Clean Arctic Alliance has issued a call for international shipping operators and national governments to cut maritime black carbon emissions.

Black carbon particles are predominantly produced by ships burning heavy fuel oil; when black carbon is released by vessels operating in the Arctic region, the particles reduce the reflectivity of ice and snow – the resulting heat absorption accelerates the rate of warming across the Arctic. Black carbon emissions represent both the second largest contributor to global warming and a significant health hazard to humans. The Clean Arctic Alliance, a collective of non-profit bodies advocating an end to the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO), is calling on International Maritime Organisation (IMO) member states to agree on measures to ensure the reduction of maritime black carbon emissions at this year’s meeting of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee, which begins today.

Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, said. “By cutting ship-sourced emissions of black carbon, IMO member states could take a quick and effective path to countering the current climate crisis; and minimise further impacts on the Arctic. We’re calling on IMO member states to champion a move away from using heavy fuel oils – shipping’s number one source of black carbon – in Arctic waters. With cleaner shipping fuels already available and innovation and ambition driving the global shipping industry towards lower emissions, IMO member states must move rapidly towards zero emission solutions.

“All eight Arctic countries made a commitment to demonstrate leadership on black carbon in 2015 – and it now seems that all except Canada are backing a move away from heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. As recent comments from Russia’s President Putin and Finland’s President Niinistö demonstrate, the political will for a HFO Free Arctic exists – now it is the time for IMO member states to turn this will into action, by moving urgently to reduce black carbon emissions and by backing the ban on the use and carriage of HFO in the Arctic, currently under development.”

Source: Governmenteuropa.eu

air pollution

Vessel emissions won’t be cut by sailing slower

Policy director of the UK Chamber of Shipping Anna Ziou has slammed French proposals to impose speed limits as a way to cut shipping emissions.

She claims it would give a “false impression” of the industry taking action. 

Ms Ziou’s objection follows an outcry from container lines following the French IMO delegation’s proposals becoming public last month. 

“To achieve a 50% cut in emissions, the shipping industry needs continued investment in green technologies that will allow ships to conduct their business through a range of low-carbon fuels, such as battery power, hydrogen fuel cells or even wind power,” said Ms Ziou. 

“Shipowners have already limited speeds considerably in the past decade and while these proposals are well-intentioned, slow-steaming as a low-carbon [plan] is just not good enough. 

“It will give a false impression that the industry is taking action, when in reality it will deliver no meaningful reduction in emissions, and the scale of ambition required for the industry to meet the 50% target should not be underestimated.” 

Ms Ziou noted that if selected, the plan could penalise companies developing and installing low-carbon technologies and could discourage “meaningful” attempts at cutting emissions. 

At best, she claimed, speed limits would delay any form of transition to low-carbon fuels and in so doing would store up greater costs for the industry. 

She added: “Speed reduction could result in supply chains using alternative modes of transport, such as road haulage, which would increase overall emissions. 

“In addition, ships may call at certain ports that are tidally constrained where a delay of just one hour could result in a knock-on delay of 12 hours to the vessel as it awaits the next tide, unnecessarily creating further emissions during the additional waiting time.” 

Despite the objections, it seems there is mounting support for the introduction of speed limits after chief executives from more than 100 shipping companies described climate change as “possibly the greatest challenge of our time” in a recent open letter to IMO member states. 

Source: The Loadstar

air pollution

Maersk aims to achieve zero CO2 emission by 2050

Container shipping company AP Moller – Maersk has unveiled plans to completely cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from its operations by 2050.

In order to meet the goal, Maersk intends to have carbon neutral vessels commercially viable by 2030, as well as accelerate new innovations and adopt new technology.

The company has called for a strong industry involvement to reduce emission from the shipping sector, which is estimated to carry around 80% of the world’s trade.

Maersk has so far decreased its relative CO2 emissions by 46% from the 2007 baseline, around 9% more than the industry average.

AP Moller – Maersk chief operating officer Søren Toft said: “The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonisation in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon-neutral fuels and supply chains.

“The next five to ten years are going to be crucial. We will invest significant resources for innovation and fleet technology to improve the technical and financial viability of decarbonised solutions.

“Over the last four years, we have invested around $1bn and engaged 50+ engineers each year in developing and deploying energy-efficient solutions. Going forward, we cannot do this alone.”

According to Maersk, the shipping industry’s solutions to reduce emission should be different from those of automotive, rail and aviation.

The electric truck, which is yet to make a debut, is expected to carry up to two twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) and is estimated to cover 800km per charging.

A container vessel carrying thousands of TEU can cover around 8,800km during a voyage between Panama and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Maersk noted that, considering the 20-25-year lifespan of a vessel, the industry should come together and start developing a new type of vessel that will be used for sea journeys in 2050.

Next year, the company aims to start an open and collaborative dialogue with all potential parties to jointly tackle the issue of climate change.

Source: ship-technology.com

climate change

Shipping is delivering on climate change

In a piece written for the Parliament Magazine, Violeta Bulc, the European mobility and transport Commissioner explained how the international shipping sector is doing its part to contribute to global climate change efforts.

Below are her thoughts:

In April, more than 100 countries agreed on an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

This was a significant achievement for the EU and its member states, which played an instrumental role in brokering and securing the agreement with international partners.

The agreement is another example of the EU becoming a stronger global actor to spur substantive and credible climate action. By defining an objective of at least 50 per cent GHG reductions by 2050, compared with 2008 levels, international shipping has become the first industry sector to agree globally on an absolute emission reduction aim.

The agreement also comes with a comprehensive list of potential reduction measures, including short-term measures. Undoubtedly, the IMO and the shipping sector were indispensable in setting this precedent. Yet reaching this agreement was no easy feat.

I had the opportunity to be part of the discussions and to interact with some of the key parties during the first day of the negotiations that led to this remarkable outcome. I met with EU member states representatives, who, despite some initial divergence on negotiating tactics back in Brussels, entered the discussions on solid and ambitious grounds.

I am proud to say that, following EU coordination and throughout the negotiations, the member states remained united and played a pivotal role in gathering the required political support during the negotiations.

Four MEPs – José Ignacio Faria , Dubravka Šuica, Jytte Guteland and Bas Eickhout – who engaged in many side meetings at the IMO, also supported the EU delegation.

“The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreement is another example of the EU becoming a stronger global actor to spur substantive and credible climate action”

The outcome was also aided by good cooperation of many EU member states with other like-minded partners including several Pacific Islands States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico. The Marshall Islands for instance – one of the world’s biggest flag states and a remote small island state – are heavily impacted by climate change.

Their population is facing increasing difficulties in growing crops and drilling for drinking water, as increased floods increase salinity. Bridging the gap between positions on key issues such as emission reduction objectives and guiding principles of the strategy required a negotiation effort.

Several major flag states questioned whether it was appropriate to set a number for the emission reduction objective before data on fuel consumption and emissions become available. Their reticence was dispelled by the industry representatives, who publicly voiced the sector’s readiness to accept numbers as indicative targets for reductions in the future.

Many developing countries expressed concerns over the possible impacts of new emission reduction measures, for example, on their trade. To address such concerns, the Commission, the EU member states and MEPs present reaffirmed, in their outreach meetings that the EU is willing to consider further capacity building and technical cooperation to assist implementing future measures.

“I am proud to say that, following EU coordination and throughout the negotiations, the member states remained united and played a pivotal role in gathering the required political support during the negotiations”

Therefore I am pleased to see that the EU-funded, IMO-managed project which led to the establishment of the maritime technologies cooperation centres network was expressly acknowledged in the strategy as a capacity building project.

This is an example to others, including international financial institutions. Crucial factors in brokering the deal were the tireless efforts of IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, in encouraging inclusiveness and consensus in the discussions.

With this support in the background, the resolute chairmanships of Sveinung Oftedal of Norway, the Chair of the working group on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, along with Hideaki Saito, the Chair of the marine environment protection committee, made it possible to draw a line and build upon the support of the overwhelming majority of the IMO States present.

Not everyone was fully on board with the text of the adopted IMO strategy. The US, following on their recently announced plans to withdraw from the Paris agreement, and Saudi Arabia, given what the prospect of decarbonisation may mean for their main export product. Both expressed formal reservations to the adoption of the IMO strategy.

While the strenuous negotiations at MEPC 72 delivered a result that kept the IMO in the driving seat for defining an emissions agenda for international shipping, the real work, developing and adopting reduction measures, starts only now.

The full cooperation of both the EU and also all IMO member states is needed to agree on short-term measures with immediate emission reduction effects before 2023. Preparations on longer term actions should also begin.

Bulc ends with stating that she is optimistic that shipping is delivering its share to the global climate change efforts under the Paris agreement and the EU institutions are determined to strive for ambitious objectives, and continue the effective cooperation with our partners.

Global climate change is always a contentious issue, trade is on the rise again globally, and ships are back trawling our seas, connecting places and people. However, ships don’t just drive trade, they unfortunately contribute to climate change too in fact, global shipping is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and these are projected to rise by between 50% and 250% by 2050 if nothing improves.

Source: Parliament Magazine / Medium.com

lng gas

The impact of shipping on the climate cannot be solved by gas

Europe has little to gain from trying to decarbonise the unwieldy shipping sector with liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to a new study that looks into how the EU could cut emissions over the next three decades.

Research by consultants UMAS revealed on Monday (25 June) that pouring billions of dollars into LNG-refuelling capacity for maritime and inland shipping would only yield emission reductions ranging from 6% to 10%.

The study highlighted how half a billion dollars has already been used by the EU to beef up infrastructure and that no notable greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) have been logged as a result.

Shipping accounted for about 3% of global emissions in 2012 and, on its current trajectory, will contribute between 6% and 14% by 2050 due to increased growth. Eighty percent of global trade is already transported by water.

EU commitments to the UN’s Paris Agreement mean the bloc is targeting 40% GHG reductions by 2030 and a net-zero emissions strategy for mid-century is likely to be released by the end of the year.

Brussels wants every part of the economy to do its fair share of decarbonising, meaning shipping will have to play its part and a recent agreement by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to target “at least 50%” cuts compared to 2008 by 2050 was a step towards that aim.

But the IMO commitment is non-binding and a final plan is not expected until 2023, causing uncertainty about where investment should be directed. If the IMO revises its ambition up to a net-zero strategy, LNG assets could end up stranded, according to the study.

NGO group Transport & Environment, which commissioned the report, said the EU should “instead back future-proof technologies that would deliver the much greater emissions reductions that will be needed, including port-side charging and liquid hydrogen infrastructure”.

UMAS’s modelling showed that under a ‘high gas’ scenario, where LNG prices are low and alternative fuels like hydrogen are unavailable, the EU would be hit with a $22bn bill up to 2050 and GHG reductions would only fall within a 6%-10% bracket.

While increased LNG uptake could help the sector hit the IMO’s 2020 cap on sulphur emissions, according to UMAS researcher Domagoj Baresic, the fuel’s use in “shipping’s transition to a low carbon future can only be transient”.

Other fuel options include biofuels, electrification and hydrogen. Battery-powered ocean-going freighters are currently not feasible due to cost and component weight, so smaller vessels are the limit, while biofuels face their own set of cost of standards-based challenges.

EU legislation dating from 2014 on alternative fuels lays out a number of options across various sectors but its insistence on LNG refuelling and bunkering facilities has now been called into question by T&E. The group urged the Commission to revise the “faulty” directive.

Although LNG is easy to transport, one of its main downsides is its high methane content, whose climate-affecting potential is significantly greater than that of carbon dioxide.

The study explained that the phenomenon of ‘methane slipping’, when unburnt LNG escapes through a ship’s exhaust into the atmosphere, could actually help wipe out any emission reduction gains over diesel depending on the scenario.

The issue of fugitive methane is a serious consideration for energy companies and pipeline owners, as it entails sometimes significant losses in both deliverable capacity and income.

Last week, a landmark study by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) claimed that methane leakage in the United States is 60% higher than previously estimated by the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

EDF chief scientist Steve Hamburg warned that if more than 2.7% of gas production leaks from the US network then the GHG impact is more significant than burning coal for power. The study drew on a decade of work to estimate that leakages totalled 2.3%.

Oil majors like Exxon and BP already intend to address the problem by rolling out advanced technology like infrared detection equipment. The International Energy Agency estimates that between 40% and 50% of current methane emissions could be cut at no net cost.

To view the full report please go here

Source: Euractiv.com