Europe has already spent half a billion US dollars on natural gas infrastructure for its shipping sector in order to comply with an EU law – and continuing its roll-out is likely to cost governments and investors $22 billion by 2050, a new study has found. Liquified natural gas (LNG) will reduce shipping emissions by just 6%, at most, compared to the replaced diesel fuel, the research by the UMAS consultancy shows.
Sustained pressure on governments to regulate the shipping sector’s climate impact has finally resulted in a pledge to require international shipping to at least halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. However, states meeting at the International Maritime Organisation last month made no progress on agreeing a roadmap to devise the measures needed to implement immediate emissions cuts. T&E said it's now up to Europe and its climate allies to get things moving.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has moved a step closer to banning the carriage of high-sulphur fuels. The ban, if approved, would make it much easier to enforce the new sulphur standard for marine fuels from 2020.
A Norwegian ship has made the first-ever unassisted winter crossing of the Northern Sea Route. The Eduard Toll knocked around 3,000 nautical miles off its journey from South Korea to France via northern Russia without needing to be accompanied by an icebreaker. T&E says this journey was only possible due to climate change and will lead to further damage to the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
Leading shipping industry and environmental organisations have added their support to the growing calls for a ban on carrying shipping fuel that does not meet new sulphur content regulations. The signatories, which include T&E, say making it an offence to carry non-compliant high-sulphur shipping fuel would be the easiest and most effective way to enforce the ban on such fuel being burned at sea.
A Dutch shipbuilding company says it will start operating electricity-powered container ships in August. The barges, which can run without any crew, are powered by seven-metre battery packs charged up on land. The company says use of the barges between three Dutch ports will take around 23,000 trucks off the roads.
A report by two respected climate scientists says the EU’s plans for natural gas as an energy source are incompatible with its commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accord. The report’s authors say Europe has just nine years left to burn fossil fuels at the current rate if global temperatures are to stay below a 2°C increase.
The EU has confirmed its intention to include shipping in its emissions trading system (ETS) if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) does not deliver effective global measures to reduce emissions from ships by 2023. Both T&E and the shipping industry said the outcome was a partial victory.