GLOBE-Net, October 17, 2012 -
Maritime shipping is the world's most carbon-efficient form of
transporting goods and the industry has now taken steps to further
improve the fuel efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of its
vessels and supply chain.
Three large multinational corporations, which together ship over
350 million tons of commodities annually, have agreed to charter
only the most fuel-efficient shipping vessels on the
This commitment to both locate and use only the cleanest ships
is being hailed as a game changer for those engaged in the shipping
sector, as the effort not only reduces the industry's impact on the
planet but also increases the bottom lines of its customers.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has
been pursuing mrasures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
from international shipping in recognition of the magnitude of the
climate change challenge and the intense focus on this topic.
According to a recent Journal of Commerce article,
'the EU is considering several options for
curbing emissions, including market-based mechanisms,
and the creation of a system to monitor, report and verify
pollutants based on fuel consumption will be the first step. The
efforts will "feed" into the International Maritime Organization's
push to reduce emissions."
"Shipping is a global industry and needs global
solutions to address its environmental footprint. As a result, we
are all working towards an internationally agreed global solution
to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from ships,"
said EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie
Hedegaard in a recent statement.
She affirmed that it was the EU's intention to pursue
monitoring, reporting and verification system for maritime shipping
in early 2013. "At the same time, we will continue the debate with
stakeholders on which measure can successfully address the EU's
greenhouse gas reduction objectives." she added.
In related news, Rotterdam, Europe's biggest and busiest port is
working with shipping companies to expand the use of liquefied
natural gas (LNG) as a fuel of choice, which, compared to diesel
engines, can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 25
percent and cut sulphur emissions by as much as 80 percent.
Rotterdam's plan to boost infrastructure for LNG use in ports throughout
the Rhine river region is part of its efforts to meet new European
Union anti-pollution laws that require a sharp reduction in sulphur
content in shipping fuels from 2015. International shipping
accounts for about three percent of the world's CO2
emissions, but if left unregulated, could account for 18
percent by 2050.
Many ports around the world are moving toward less carbon
intensive operating procedures. The Port of Metro Vancouver
trades $75 billion in goods with more than 160 trading partners
annually and has taken a leadership role in reducing air emissions
in North America.
Since 2005, the port, along with Metro Vancouver and Environment
Canada, has maintained an ocean-going vessel emission inventory in
order to provide a baseline that will help track progress towards
reducing emissions. The Air Action Program works to reduce emissions
by focusing on technology use and promoting operational
efficiencies to maintain air quality.
Another initiative championed by the port is the EcoAction Program, which provides reduced
harbour dues rates to ocean-going vessels that excel in
environmental stewardship. These incentives encourage a wide
variety of technology and fuel options to vessels in order to
promote and build awareness for a number of alternative emission
Source: ISIS Research Centre, Sauder School of Business, in
partnership with PICS. UBC Authors: Justin Bull, Chanda
Brietzke, Liz Ferris, James Noble, Tim
Shah Editors: Chris Kantowicz, James Tansey Jessica
Worsley, Tom Pedersen