Measures to support cleaner shipping
On 21 September the European Commission adopted a staff working paper entitled Pollutant Emission Reduction From Maritime Transport and The Sustainable Waterborne Transport Toolbox. The document accompanies a legal proposal to revise an EU directive related to the sulphur content of marine fuels that aligns EU law with International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements.
According to the document, compliance shall be achieved on time while minimising any possible unwanted side effects. Therefore, a number of short-term accompanying measures are being considered to seek solutions for minimising the compliance costs. Among other things it points to existing frameworks such as the TEN-T and the Marco Polo programmes and the European Investment Bank’s policy and instruments in support of sustainable shipping
Moreover, the paper outlines the conditions under which member states may choose to grant investment aids, enabling companies to go beyond existing standards or assisting in the early adaptation ahead of the entry into force of the standards.
The document is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/transport/ships_proposal.htm
Particle filters on inland ships
The Swiss General Navigation Company of Lake Zürich (ZSG) has now equipped all its 15 motor vessels with particulate filters, capable of removing up to 99 per cent of particulate matter (PM) emissions. Since August 2010, particle filters have been mandatory for all new ships and, wherever feasible and economically viable for the existing fleet. ZSG reports that the material costs for the equipment of its ships amounted to around CHF1.3 million, and that installation takes up to 20 working days per ship.
Source: AECC Newsletter, May-June 2011
Cruise line fined for breaching sulphur rules
A cruise ship operator has been fined EUR 30,000 for contravening European Union rules on the sulphur content of marine fuel. The 88,000 gross tonne Disney Magic was inspected this month while at berth in the Italian port of Naples, and it was found the ship was using a bunker fuel with a sulphur content in excess of an EU regulation that requires ships at berth to use fuel with a sulphur content of no more than 0.10 per cent, unless they are scheduled to be in port for less than two hours. Reports said the ship, owned by the US cruise operator Disney Cruise Line, was immediately ordered to stop burning the fuel. Naples is one of the regular ports of call for the 1998-built, Bahamas-flagged Disney Magic.
Source: Sustainable Shipping News, 22 September 2011
Call for a global shipping fuel tax
A report by Oxfam and WWF shows how it is possible to tackle the huge and growing greenhouse gas emissions from ships and raise billions of dollars to help developing countries tackle climate change, without unfairly hitting developing countries. It argues that a deal to apply a carbon price to international shipping should be at the heart of the agreement at the UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, later this year. It would also offer a solution to the deadlock on shipping emissions that has lasted more than a decade.
According to the proposal, applying a carbon price of US$25 per tonne to shipping fuel would help cut emissions while generating US$25 billion per year by 2020. The finance would be used both to compensate developing countries for marginally higher import costs that could result from the carbon price, and to provide more than US$10 billion per year to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Source: WWF/Oxfam press release, 8 September 2011
Energy efficiency standards for new ships
In July, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) regulation for new ships. The EEDI will require new ships to meet a minimum level of energy efficiency: ships built between 2015 and 2019 will need to improve their efficiency by 10 per cent, rising to 20 per cent between 2020 and 2024 and 30 per cent for ships delivered after 2024. The environmental group Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) welcomes the decision, but warns that it’s only the first step in what needs to be a far more expansive effort to address shipping’s climate impacts. Shipping accounts for around 3.3 per cent of man-made CO2 emissions worldwide and this figure is expected to rise to 6 per cent in 2020.
Source: Clean Shipping Coalition pressrelease, 15 July 2011
North American ECA has entered into force
Emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from ships in the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) will be subject to more stringent controls than the limits that apply globally, as a result of the entry into force as from 1 August 2011 of amendments to MARPOL Annex VI of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This means that there are currently three designated ECAs, the other two being sulphur oxide ECAs: the Baltic Sea area and the North Sea area.
The North American ECA will take effect 12 months after the amendments enter into force, giving the shipping industry one year before it has to comply with the ECA requirements. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the cost of implementing the ECA standards is estimated at US$3.2 billion, while the health-related benefits could be as much as US$110 billion in the US in 2020.