CO2 emission reduction measures must be global and apply equally to all ships


Paper boats“We believe that shipping, together with all other industry sectors, must be part of the solution to limit the increase in global temperature, as we clearly are a global contributor to carbon emissions”, said ECSA President Niels Smedegaard, addressing a symposium on decarbonisation of shipping held in Antwerp yesterday (Tuesday).

“The overall goal however must be a global agreement for maritime emissions, which the International Maritime Organisation is moving towards. The EU has shown leadership by adopting its regulation on monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions of shipping. Our focus should now be on ensuring the proper implementation of the MRV Regulation and make certain that the regulation is aligned with the IMO data collection system which will be formalised in October this year. This will ensure that European shipping will be covered by a single system, in an efficient manner without double work,” he continued.

“The European Commission has not included shipping in its current review of the European Emissions Trading System. We believe this correctly reflects the reality that shipping is a global business and regional measures would have a directly distorting impact on European operators. A regional scheme would lead to carbon leakage as ships would start to avoid calling at EU ports. It would also gravely hurt the European short sea shipping sector, which would again be faced with an ‘EU only’ system”, he concluded.

The Antwerp symposium was initiated by the Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association, in cooperation with ECSA and Wärtsilä. It brought together ship owners with engine makers, ship yards, ship designers, academia and port authorities to map out technical measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Instead of taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, many shipping companies have already taken steps towards more environmental and sustainable shipping. These early movers have searched for different kinds of solutions to improve the energy efficiency of their fleet. Companies have made major investments in new technological innovations such as upgrading engines and propellers to improve fuel efficiency, LNG-engine technology, non-fossil alternative fuels, electric and hybrid battery systems.