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New ship designs less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990

New ships are on average less fuel-efficient than those built in 1990, according to the first ever study of the historical development of the design efficiency of new ships. A second study also found many recently-constructed ships already meet the International Maritime Organisation’s design efficiency standard for 2020 (EEDI), which is up for review when the IMO meets next week. Both documents suggest that more stringent efficiency standards are within reach.

Electro-mobility and alternative fuels central to ‘energy union’ agenda

Further decarbonisation of transport through a shift to alternative fuels and electro-mobility forms a major part of the European Commission’s strategy for an ‘energy union’, unveiled last week. With transport being responsible for more than 30% of EU energy consumption and a quarter of emissions, the Commission said legislation on ‘decarbonising the transport sector, including an action plan on alternative fuels’ would be put forward in 2017.

Ships’ energy performance to be measured for first time

All shipping companies calling at EU ports will, for the first time, have to measure and publicly report ships’ energy performance, including carbon emissions, under a law approved by the European Parliament’s environment committee and EU environment ministers. But the regulation, which still requires the support of the Parliament plenary, only monitors fuel consumption instead of directly reducing it, and only covers CO2 and not air pollutants like SO2 or NOx.

New Polar Code ‘too weak’ to protect polar environments

The world’s first code of conduct for ships using the newly accessible Arctic shipping routes has been agreed, but environmental groups say it does not go far enough and, without further strengthening, it is just a question of when a serious incident occurs in the Arctic and Antarctic environments.

Ships’ NOx thrown overboard in emissions monitoring plan

MEPs have voted to exclude nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of shipping emissions in the EU, despite the fact that NOx from shipping in Europe is expected to exceed all land-based sources by 2020. The vote came shortly after a decision by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to delay stricter NOx engine standards for new ships operating in any newly declared NOx emissions control areas (NECAs).

Crucial decision on ‘technically feasible’ ships NOx reduction

Curtailing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from ships is ‘technically feasible’, according to a new study published ahead of this week’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting that will decide on a proposal to postpone the 2016 introduction of NOx emission control areas at sea.

‘Oppose NOx rule delay’

An International Maritime Organisation (IMO) proposal to delay the start of stricter nitrogen oxide standards would undermine the EU’s air quality goals and should be opposed, the European Commission has said. In April, an IMO committee will decide on whether to postpone the 2016 date for the introduction of stricter NOx emissions standards from new ships operating in NOx control areas (NECAs).

Report suggests win-win opportunity for ship owners and the environment

The most effective way to reduce carbon emissions from shipping is also the most economic. That is the message from a new study commissioned by T&E and Seas at Risk (SAR) that looks at monitoring and reducing maritime emissions. It says ship operators could save €5-9 million a year if they invested in 21st-century technology.

Polar Code ‘lacks ambition’

The International Maritime Organisation earlier this month reached preliminary agreement on a ‘Polar Code’ of safety and environmental rules for ships in the Arctic and Antarctic. But the final draft contains few meaningful environmental provisions, such as requiring vessels to have strengthened hulls or even operate at reduced speed in supposedly ‘ice-free’ waters.

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