Page 34 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2017 publication
P. 34

34  Spring 2017 European Energy Innovation


Greening maritime transport:
what options in an increasingly
climate sceptic world?

By Michele Acciaro                        average for 3.1% of annual global CO2       efficiency technologies, the fleet renewal
                                          emissions for the period 2007-2012.         rate, and international as well as regional
The change in the US                      International shipping, that excludes       regulation, among other factors.
            leadership and the            domestic shipping, military and fishing
            consequent emboldening        vessels, accounts on average for 2.6%       Those factors are inherently difficult
            of climate change sceptics    of annual global CO2 emission for the       to estimate but it might be worthwhile
can have far-reaching implications        same period, while CO2e emissions           at least to get a feeling of the order of
on the success of shipping climate-       for international shipping, accounting      magnitude of these emissions to be
change policy globally. The complexity    for methane emissions (CH4) and             able to appreciate the challenge ahead.
of regulating a global sector such        nitrous oxides (N2O) are estimated at       The already cited 3rd IMO GHG report
as shipping has stalled the efforts       an average 2.4% of global emissions         projects emissions from shipping to rise
to develop a comprehensive policy         for the period 2007-2012. It should be      between 50% and 250% in the period
for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission         noted that these estimates are averages     to 2050. It is worth noting that the
reductions in maritime transport,         and on some years CO2 emissions from        International Panel on Climate Change
notwithstanding the clear mandates        shipping and international shipping         suggested in 2014 the need for a global
to the IMO from the UNFCCC, the           reached 3.5% and 2.9% of total yearly       CO2e reduction in emissions from
positions taken by IMO secretary          emissions respectively.                     2010 baseline by 2050 in the range
general Kitack Lim, the discussions                                                   of 72% to 41% to be able to maintain
at recent COP22 and pressure from         Notwithstanding the uncertainty that        global warming below 2˚, and even
environmental groups, individual          characterises this type exercises,          higher reductions by 2100. Shipping
countries and the European Union.         the IMO estimates are considered            emission changes are far away from the
                                          reliable by all stakeholders and most       required reductions, notwithstanding
Developing sound climate change           importantly, by the International           the impressive year on year relative
policies for shipping is already so       Chamber of Shipping as a                    reductions that the sector has been able
challenging from a technical and          representative body of the global           to achieve, admittedly also as a result of
operational point of view, that a shared  ship-owning community, which in             the world economic downturn following
political vision is essential. As in the  multiple occasions has reiterated the       the 2008 financial crisis. The level of
case of many policies, also regulating    willingness of the shipping world to do     emissions from shipping that should be
GHG emissions in shipping raises          its fair share to curb GHG emissions.       generated by 2050 to meet emission
complex ethical and economic issues,      But what this fair share actually is, is a  targets similar to the global ones are
and a shared political vision can only    subject of heightened debate. One of        5 to 20 times lower than the business
be built on scientific evidence and       the main challenges is that estimating      as usual scenarios and equivalent to
verifiable facts, as well as an honest    the growth of emissions from shipping       an approximately sustained 10%-15%
commitment to the wellbeing of            in the coming decades depends               yearly reduction in total emissions from
humanity.                                 quite dramatically on the growth of         shipping.
                                          the volumes of cargo and passengers
The contribution of shipping to climate   transported by seagoing vessels, ship       Achieving such cutbacks in emission
change is substantial. According to       productivity, the uptake of energy          levels will be challenging and will
the 3rd IMO GHG Study, published in
2014, CO2 from shipping accounts on

   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39