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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

air pollution

Ports and Shipping need to curb air pollution

RealWire, an online media presence, has this week issued a press release related to using proven existing technology to curb UK Shipping and Port Industry air pollution.

According to RealWire, providing renewable electricity to ships whilst in port in the UK could reduce the equivalent of 1.2 million diesel cars worth of nitrogen oxides pollution and bring £402 million per year of health and environmental benefits.

By plugging into the power grid with 100 per cent renewable electricity and turning off their diesel engines, ships at berth in the UK would reduce emissions equivalent to 84,000 to 166,000 diesel buses – or 1.2 million diesel cars representative of the current UK fleet.

The pressure is mounting for the UK to align with EU air pollution emission targets, and ships at berth need to cut their fuel consumption and port authorities and terminal operators need to integrate shore power capabilities in a simpler and more efficient way.

Schneider Electric supports decarbonisation through its business efforts, this has led to a sponsored study into the emissions from idling ships at berth in UK ports that affects the quality of the air we breathe. Often neglected as source of air pollution, ships spewing toxic emissions near to coastal towns and cities puts people and the environment at risk.

While road transport pollution garners public prominence because it is so visible in our everyday lives, we should not underestimate the impact that portside emissions have on the environment and the cost of keeping society healthy. Offshore supply vessels, fishing boats, roll-on-roll-off, bulk carriers and passenger ferries contribute the most to the emissions from auxiliary engines at berth. The emissions from all vessels’ auxiliary engines at berth in UK ports in 2016 is estimated to be equivalent to nearly 2.6 per cent of the total transport sector emissions of nitrogen oxides in the UK. The best estimates of these emissions from auxiliary engines are 830,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 11,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 270 tonnes in particulate matter and 520 tonnes of sulphur dioxide.

There were approximately 110,000 buses and coaches in the UK fleet in 2016 and the study has found that ships’ auxiliary engines at berth are equivalent to the nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions equivalent to 84,000 to 166,000 buses and coaches representative of those currently in the UK fleet, respectively.

Dirty air has been linked to asthma symptoms, heart disease and even lung cancer. It has been linked to dementia and is also known to increase the risk of children growing up with smaller lungs. Meanwhile, 59 per cent of the UK pollution – 40 million people – live in areas where diesel pollution threatens their health, according to Friends of the Earth. Global deaths linked to ambient air pollution are estimated to have increased by just under 20 per cent since 1990, while 95 per cent of the world’s population is now breathing toxic air, according to a recent study by the 

Health Effects Institute while the Royal College of Physicians has found that air pollution in the UK contributes to 40,000 deaths per year. The UK could bypass a major health hazard as well as avoid health and environmental impacts of up to £402 million per year through the elimination of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and particulates – using the introduction of shore connections at UK ports. If all the emissions from the auxiliary engines at berth from these vessels were reduced to zero by replacement with power from 100 per cent renewable electricity sources, the value in reducing emissions would be between £136 million and £483 million per year.

“The UK is one of the last global regions to introduce shore connections at its ports and it will take industry collaboration and innovation to bring forward the introduction of portside electricity in a quick and sustainable manner. There is now a global standard for shore connections and it is up to our ports now to catch up with the global norm and demonstrate that we truly believe in a cleaner, healthier future,” says Peter Selway, Marine Segment Marketing Manager at Schneider Electric.

While health conscious countries like the UK are employing proactive policies to help curb the dangerous impacts of air pollution and the ongoing efforts to alleviate roadside toxic fumes is indeed noble, the long-term impact of the shipping industry should not be ignored.

Globally, the partnership between the Port of Seattle and the shipping industry has seen annual CO2 emissions being cut by up to 29 per cent annually in the port, with financial savings of up to 26 per cent per port call. Meanwhile, shore connection capabilities have been mandatory for all ships at berth in California since 2010 and by 2020, at least 80 per cent of berths have to be equipped with shore connection technology.

The shipping industry itself has been receptive to plugging in at port and Schneider Electric’s technology has assisted La Meridionale to achieve a 95 per cent reduction in its berthside emissions. Danish ferry group Scandlines, meanwhile, has seen an overall energy saving of between 10-14 per cent in its equipped vessels.

“It is time now to adopt a new way of thinking and embrace, as an industry, the benefits that shore connections and portside electricity can bring quickly and cost-effectively. We are fortunate enough to have the technology at hand and we must put it to good use,” Selway concludes.

emissions

Shipping emissions to be halved by 2050

Following on from our earlier article concerning shipping emissions, over 170 countries reached agreement on Friday (13 April) to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping by “at least” 50% on 2008 levels by 2050, ending years of slow progress.

Despite opposition from nations including Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the US, the states came to a final agreement on Friday, signalling to industry that a switch away from fossil fuels is fast approaching.

Ultimately the goal is for shipping’s greenhouse gas emission to be reduced to zero by the middle of the century, with most newly built ships running without fossil fuels by the 2030s.

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), said the adoption of the initial strategy “would allow future IMO work on climate change to be rooted in a solid basis”.

The compromise plan to halve shipping emissions by 2050 leaves the door open to deeper cuts in the future, placing a strong emphasis on scaling up action to 100% by mid-century.

“Meeting this target means that in the 2030s most newly built ocean-going vessels will run on zero carbon renewable fuels. Ships, which transport over 80% of global trade, will become free from fossil fuels by then,” the European Climate Foundation said in a statement.

European Union countries, along with the Marshall Islands, the world’s second-biggest ship registry, had supported a goal of cutting emissions by 70 to 100% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.

But opposition from some countries – including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Panama – limited what could be achieved at the IMO session last week in London.

In Brussels, the European Commission hailed the deal as “a significant step forward” in the global effort to tackle climate change.

“The shipping sector must contribute its fair share to the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and her colleague in charge of Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete.

While the EU had sought a higher level of ambition, the Commission said the deal was “a good starting point that will allow for further review and improvements over time”.

Shipping currently represents 2-3% of global CO2 emissions and could reach 10% by 2050 if no action is taken, the Commission reminded.

Dr Tristan Smith, an energy and shipping reader at the UCL Energy Institute, said that the 2050 target is likely to be tightened even further in the future.

“Even with the lowest level of ambition, the shipping industry will require rapid technological changes to produce zero-emission ships, moving from fossil fuels, to a combination of electricity (batteries), renewable fuels derived from hydrogen, and potentially bioenergy,” he said.

While he admitted that such changes are “massive” for a global industry with over 50,000 ships trading internationally, Smith said these reductions can be achieved “with the correct level of investment and better regulation”.

“What happens next is crucial,” said John Maggs, president of the Clean Shipping Coalition and senior policy advisor at Seas At Risk, an umbrella organisation of environmental NGOs.

“The IMO must move swiftly to introduce measures that will cut emissions deeply and quickly in the short-term. Without these the goals of the Paris agreement will remain out of reach,” he warned.

According to the text produced by the IMO working group submitted to member states, the initial strategy would not be legally binding for member states.

A final IMO plan is not expected until 2023.

Source: Edie.net / Independent 

emissions

Can shipping slash emissions?

Next week, countries are supposed to finalise a deal on limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) environment meeting in London is expected to set a concrete target for shipping emissions in the coming decades. After the Paris Agreement and a deal on emissions from International Aviation, shipping is the last sector to contribute to global climate action.

A climate shipping deal has been long in the making. The IMO first adopted a resolution on GHG emissions in 1997.  However talks have stalled. There are several issues to overcome. There is concern that the impacts of any deal will fall disproportionately on flag states with many ships registered. Just six flag states – Panama, China, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Singapore and Malta – account for over half of global shipping CO2 emissions.

However, there is concern that there is not yet enough data on ship emissions to consider setting a global target, or that shipping does not have the technical means to decarbonise.

the IMO adopted two technical measures on energy efficiency in 2011 and will require ships to report on their fuel consumption from 2019, no overall cap or reduction on shipping emissions has been set.

EU member states, including the UK, have supported a “70-100%” reduction on 2008 emissions by 2050, and a 90% reductions in the carbon intensity of shipping.

Japan has proposed that emissions be cut to 50% below 2008 levels by 2060, along with a 40% improvement in ships’ fuel efficiency by 2030. Japan also includes the idea of “amendments” to the goal, pending an IMO review of its achievability at a later date.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and other trade groups have proposed simply capping shipping emissions at 2008 levels, along with a 50% efficiency improvement by 2050. A group of low-ambition countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China and Turkey, argue against any absolute emissions cap, saying it could result in carbon leakage to other transport modes such as rail and air.

The shipping industry emitted 932 million tonnes of CO2 in 2015, according to a recent report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). This corresponded to around 2.6% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, up from around 2.2% in 2012.

The IMO’s most recent study on international shipping emissions estimated they could grow between 50% and 250% by 2050, under current measures. As other sectors are set to decarbonise, this means shipping could grow to represent an ever larger portion of global emissions if not cap is set.

According to Green Peace, Ships carry over 80% of world trade, using vessels that operate on marine fuels which are cheaper but dirtier than road transport diesel fuels.

If the shipping sector were a country, it would rank sixth in the list of carbon emitters, just above Germany. The sector’s emissions have been growing three times faster than global emissions and if left unchecked emissions could grow by 50-250% by 2050.

Source: Carbon Brief / Green Peace