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).
Decarbonising Europe’s ships will be much easier by making them battery-powered or based on hydrogen than by using synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, a T&E study has found. The report on reducing shipping’s climate impact says powering ships with batteries, hydrogen or ammonia will need only half the renewable electricity compared with using synthetic methane or synthetic diesel. In a separate development, the European Commission has published the EU’s decarbonisation strategy, which acknowledges the potential of electrification for short-sea journeys.
Alianza Mar Blava, Transport & Environment, Ecologistas en Acción of Catalonia and Plataforma por la Calidad del Aire have congratulated the Barcelona City Council for subscribing to the initiative in favour of the creation of an Emission Control Area (ECA) in the Mediterranean Sea (Med-ECA) to limit air pollution produced by ships. The establishment of a regulatory framework for ECAs in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel has led to immediate improvements in air quality of up to 50% since 2015 and associated socio-economic benefits valued in billions of euros.
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.
This report assesses potential technology pathways for decarbonising EU-related shipping through a shift to zero-carbon technologies and the impact such a move could have on renewable electricity demand in Europe.
Powering Europe’s transport with fossil gas – widely known as ‘natural’ gas – would emit as much greenhouse gases as using petrol, diesel or conventional marine fuels, a new T&E report has found. Fossil gas cars also emit as much air pollution as petrol ones and their limited advantage over new diesels that comply with the latest emissions standards could be eliminated by the planned introduction of new Euro VII/7 standards, the research shows. Yet, by taxing gas for transport at a rates much lower than petrol and diesel, European lawmakers are incentivising the use of this fossil fuel.
The international shipping community has made little progress to advance the global commitment made earlier this year to reduce the sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is despite impassioned pleas for action by climate scientists to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) environment committee last month. Delegates spent two weeks discussing procedural matters and timelines rather than concrete measures to decarbonise the sector. T&E said that some IMO delegates soon ‘would not have a country to land on’ due to global warming if this pace of activity continues.
Two weeks of talks in London on what measures the global shipping sector should take to reduce its climate impact have failed to make progress. Governments meeting at the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) were supposed to start delivering on their April commitment to decarbonise international shipping but instead became bogged down in procedural matters. The Clean Shipping Coalition  said the total lack of urgency was in stark contrast to the impassioned pleas for action made to delegates by the authors of the recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).