The World Shipping Council has made suggestions to the International Maritime Organization to ensure that GHG regulations adequately guide industry’s transition to alternative fuels and propulsion technologies.
The WSC outlined its suggestions in a document submitted to the IMO’s International Working Group on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships and the Marine Environmental Protection Committee.
The council said proposals currently before the IMO include a GHG levy or rebate mechanism, a GHG fuel standard, emissions trading and a funding/rewards system tied to a specific benchmark.
“[The proposals] all have their strengths but share a set of challenges that are critical to the overall viability and success of IMO’s GHG strategy,” WSC said in a statement.
One of the challenges identified by the WSC was that the IMO’s goal of phasing out GHG emissions from shipping would require significant investment in the production and supply of low, near zero and zero GHG fuels. . He also highlighted some other points perceived as challenges.
“Well-to-wake life cycle analysis is critical to avoid favoring fuels that have attractive tank-to-wake numbers, but produce high life cycle emissions instead of reducing GHGs,” said declared WSC.
“Countries around the world face very different economic circumstances and some places, especially those that are remote and import or export small volumes, are already facing very high transport costs.
“Any proposal must identify an effective structure to address these issues of equity and sustainability of island states and developing economies.”
Another challenge related to simplicity of implementation and the ability to verify and enforce standards.
To address the challenges it identified, WSC offered three suggestions that could strengthen the IMO GHG strategy.
Suggestions include modifying the proposed global fuel standard to include fewer steps and setting dates for each step; develop an IMO Green Corridor program to introduce new fuels and technologies; and consider a benchmarking approach that is more directly linked to meeting GHG reduction targets, rather than a relative benchmark based on the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).
WSC President and CEO John Butler said industry needs to think concretely about what proposals submitted to the IMO can deliver in terms of real carbon emission reductions and how to take a decision.
“It’s not just about getting a yes, it’s about getting a yes on something that will make a difference for the future of our planet,” he said.
“Our main challenge is to create the regulatory framework to stimulate the development, production and adoption of low or near zero GHG fuels and technologies, coupled with the necessary investments in renewable energy production for a just transition.
“Liner shipping is investing in decarbonization, and we urge IMO member countries to come together with a focus on future generations to ensure the progress needed for a timely energy transition.”