Page 53 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2015 publication
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Spring 2015 European Energy Innovation 53


Reducing CO2 emissions from shipping

By Dimitrios Banas, Manager, Communication and Information, European Community Shipowners’ Association

In the last few years, the reduction current phase, naval architects and medium to long term.
of CO2 emissions from shipping has operators have introduced slight
become increasingly prominent on modifications to existing technologies. In November 2014 EU co-legislators
the EU and international political However as subsequent phases reached an informal agreement on the
agenda. introduce tougher restrictions, more Commission proposal, which paves
structural changes in ships design the way for a European MRV system
But let’s start with the facts. Shipping will be needed to ensure vessel that will become operational as of
emits far less per tonne/km than any compliance. In other words the EEDI 2018, applying to ships above 5000 GT
other mode of transport: it contributes will become an increasingly important arriving and departing from EU ports,
only a fraction of the total volume of factor in the reduction of CO2 emissions regardless of their flag and ownership.
atmospheric emissions compared to and the improvement of energy The Regulation is meant to be a
road vehicles, trains and air transport, efficiency in shipping. stepping stone towards a global MRV
as well as other emission sources such instrument, which is currently being
as power plants. Shipping transports The Ship Energy Efficiency discussed at the International Maritime
90% of the world’s goods and emits Management Plan (SEEMP) is intended Organisation (IMO). Apart from data
less than 2.2% of the world’s CO2. In to be a practical tool for helping ship- on fuel consumption and distance
other words, in terms of CO2 emissions owners manage their environmental sailed, the negotiators agreed that the
per tonne of cargo transported over performance and improve operational Regulation will also require ships to
one mile, shipping is recognised as efficiency and has been mandatory report cargo-related information.
the most efficient form of commercial since January 2013.
transport. This is due to the ever European shipowners, mindful of
increasing size of many types of vessels, Things have however also been the need for a global solution which
which in turn is brought about by the moving on the European front: In ensures a global level playing field,
need to reduce not only costs, through March 2011, the European Commission support the European Commission’s
economies of scale, but also the published its White Paper on the Future efforts to align its MRV system with a
industry’s carbon footprint. of Transport. In it, the Commission global system.
suggested that CO2 emissions from
In that respect, shipping is also the first shipping in the European Union should Regardless of the legislative
industrial sector with a global binding be reduced by 40% (if possible 50%) of developments at international level, it is
regime that aims at reducing CO2 2005 levels by 2050. important to also remember that the EU
emissions, an impressive feat by any is presented with a unique opportunity
standard. This includes the application In June 2013, the European to make its transport system more
of the IMO Energy Efficiency Design Commission published a sustainable and achieve its CO2 goals
Index (EEDI) to new vessels, and the communication, accompanying the through multimodality. In Europe,
use of the Ship Energy Efficiency proposal for an Monitoring, reporting shipping only accounts for 40% of
Management Plan (SEEMP) that is now and verification of CO2 emissions (MRV) intra-EU trade. By shifting more cargo
a carriage requirement for all ships. Regulation, which sets out a strategy and passengers to the sea, the EU can
for progressively integrating maritime exploit the superior energy efficiency
The EEDI provides a method for emissions into the EU’s policy for of shipping to reduce its global CO2
establishing the minimum efficiency reducing its domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
of new ships depending on the type emissions.
of ship and size. It offers a fair basis Shipowners of course do not rest on
for comparison and should stimulate The Commission’s strategy is intended their laurels and are actively pursuing
the development of more efficient to be an integral component for a the reduction of the industry’s carbon
ship design. The EEDI will enter into global MRV system. It consists of footprint. The industry can become
force incrementally and in a number three consecutive steps: Monitoring, even greener without losing its
of phases that increase the restriction reporting and verification of CO2 competitive edge, provided that EU
on CO2 emissions. With increasing emissions from large ships using EU environmental standards are aligned
global competition, the key to survival ports, CO2 reduction targets for the with those at global level and that
will be designing, building and maritime transport sector and finally transition periods are foreseen to allow
operating ships efficiently within this further measures, including Market for structural changes when they are
environmental framework. Under the Based Measures (MBMs), in the needed. l
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