Effectively addressing climate change is possibly the greatest challenge of our time. In 2015 world governments agreed in Paris that global temperature rise must be limited to well below 2ºC, while aiming for 1.5ºC compared to pre-industrial levels. A recent IPCC 1.5º Special Report also recommended "deep emissions reductions" to achieve these temperature goals.
Transport is Europe's biggest climate problem accounting for 27% of its GHG emissions in 2017. This report summarises a series of studies by Transport & Environment. (T&E analysed pathways for decarbonisation in the road freight, aviation, shipping and car sectors.) It demonstrates that transport can and must be decarbonised by 2050 at the very latest, not only to limit global warming but also to ensure Europe's competitiveness, its energy sovereignty and the health and well-being of its 500 million citizens.
Powering European ships with batteries, hydrogen or ammonia will decarbonise the fleet and require only half the amount of renewable electricity that less efficient solutions like synthetic methane or synthetic diesel will need. That’s according to sustainable transport group Transport & Environment, which has published a Roadmap to Decarbonising European Shipping. The EU must set out in its 2050 Decarbonisation Strategy, to be published on 28 November, how it will end the use of fossil fuels in shipping, including marine fuel oil and liquified natural gas (LNG).
Three years after Paris and over a year after agreeing a 2050 decarbonisation objective, European campaign groups Transport & Environment and Seas at Risk, leading members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, are appalled at the complete lack of ambition shown by the IMO this week.
Efforts to reduce the environmental impact of shipping should begin with mandatory speed restrictions for all commercial ships. That is the message from more than 100 maritime companies and nine NGOs, which have written to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) calling for it to regulate speed speeds.
T&E has joined forces with environmental NGOs in Spain to warn that a high-profile exercise in cleaning up shipping risks locking in fossil fuels for decades to come. The port of Barcelona has committed to investing in infrastructure to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to ships, and last month it celebrated the arrival of its first gas-powered cruise ship as a breakthrough for sustainable tourism. However, a T&E member described it as ‘greenwashing’.
Transport & Environment UK (T&E UK) warmly welcomes the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to increase the UK’s ambition to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. This is essential for the UK to show international leadership in the battle to prevent dangerous climate change and it can help secure enormous economic opportunities.
The European Commission has published proposals to revise its reporting rules on ships’ emissions data which are aimed at enabling those who charter ships to pick the cleanest and most efficient vessels. T&E has welcomed the proposals, but says the Commission is wrong to concede on the need to report cargo data.
Publishing data about the emissions of all ships calling at EU ports, as proposed by the European Commission, will incentivise shipping companies to cut their CO2 while also better informing regulations to reduce emissions, green NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The EU, under pressure from industry and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to harmonise its monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system with the IMO’s system, should still require ships registered outside the EU to report their data, the Commission said.