Press Release

EU agrees to the world’s first green shipping fuel requirement

March 23, 2023

The beginning of the end for dirty shipping fuels

The EU last night confirmed the world’s first green shipping fuels law. Ships will be required to increasingly switch to sustainable fuels and at least 2% of the bloc’s shipping fuels will need to come from e-fuels derived from renewable electricity by 2034, at the latest. With negotiations ongoing at the global shipping regulator, the International Maritime Organization, Transport & Environment (T&E) says this marks the beginning of the end for dirty shipping fuels and should provide inspiration for other countries around the world.

The EU’s FuelEU Maritime law, agreed upon last night by all the EU bodies and member states, sends a strong signal to potential investors and fuel suppliers to start producing these green fuels for shipping, says T&E. E-fuels are one of the only options shipping has to decarbonise, where direct electrification for many vessels is not possible. However, the group warns that loopholes risk letting biofuels and low-carbon fuels in the backdoor. T&E has called on the EU to fix these when it revises the law by 2028.

The final agreement also includes stricter greenhouse gas intensity targets[1], as well as a bonus for the use of green e-fuels until 2035, with the so-called “multiplier of 2”. This should make e-fuels more attractive to use from the entry into force of the regulation in 2025.

Delphine Gozillon, sustainable shipping officer at T&E, said: “Today’s decision marks the beginning of the end of dirty fuels in shipping. The EU is charting the way with the most ambitious package of green shipping laws ever adopted. This success should inspire other countries to do the same.” 


Notes to editor

[1] Negotiators agreed new targets for shipowners to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the energy they use onboard by 2 percent from 2025 and 6 percent as of 2030. The figure will rise to 14.5 percent from 2035, 31 percent from 2040, 62 percent from 2045 and 80 percent from 2050.

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