Is shipping ready for new emissions reduction targets, asks Baseblue

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The maritime industry has a clear path to follow after the outcome of this summer’s IMO MEPC 80 meeting and the European Union’s previously defined targets, notes Dionysis Diamantopoulos, Key Account Analyst at marine fuels specialist Baseblue Ltd.

With a significantly more ambitious target of achieving Net-Zero by 2050 and introducing intermediary targets, including a 20% reduction of all GHG emissions by 2030 and a 70% reduction by 2040, it is evident that not only Europe but also the UN/IMO are deeply committed to environmental protection and emissions reduction is a top priority.

Despite the differing targets set by the EU and IMO, there is generally a common approach. Europe has implemented economic and technical measures by incorporating the Maritime Industry into the EU ETS and establishing FuelEU. This initiative sets the mandatory requirements necessary for adopting alternative fuels while also assessing the emissions profile of fuels on a well-to-wake basis.

On the other hand, the IMO has also addressed technical measures by establishing LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) guidelines and presenting the emissions profile of fuels on the same basis. However, discussions regarding economic measures still remain to be determined, despite rumours suggesting the implementation of an EU-like system.

It’s clearer than ever that the Maritime Industry ecosystem has much to digest and address to achieve compliance, which is of grave importance to retain competitiveness and ensure survival and future success. The new reality dictates that change must be adopted. For some companies, the transition will be smoother, given their corporate DNA of innovation, while for others who are less accustomed to change, the process might feel abrupt.

At Baseblue, we firmly believe that planning and proactivity are paramount during times of change. This is why we stay constantly updated on both local and international regulations, all while evolving and embracing new solutions and work methodologies from within. We aim to move from the traditional and segmented trading model towards a more proactive and holistic approach.

We believe that there are three pillars upon which every company in the shipping ecosystem must focus. First, optimising vessel efficiency is of the utmost importance to reduce consumption and consequently minimise GHG emissions. Through our premier software and platform, we assist our clients in fleet monitoring, offering top-tier weather routing services and voyage calculation tools. Additionally, our post-fixing department closely tracks all deliveries in coordination with agents, physical suppliers, and surveyors to ensure seamless operations and comprehensive documentation of sampling and surveying.

Secondly, integrating alternative fuels and the corresponding regulatory guidelines for decarbonisation (EU, IMO) highlights the essential need for compliance support. We maintain an extensive global network of alternative fuel suppliers and have initiated supplies for our clients bolstered by our ISCC certification. We guide our clients in transitioning to the new regulatory landscape daily and offer comprehensive consultation on their global alternative fuel requirements.

Third, as the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS) puts a price on CO2 emissions, reporting and paying for these will become essential. European companies are called to report their emissions and “pay” for them by returning allowance titles called EUAs or European Allowances. We have created a specialised emissions module within our software ecosystem that will allow companies to perform easy calculations and save time in their reporting process whilst also being able to budget voyages considering calculations on the EUA costs. Additionally, through our paper trading desk, a regulated entity that can trade in the European Energy Exchange, we can provide our clients with both consultation and actual EUAs.

The waves of the future are moving, and so are we. The real question is, are you ready?

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