Necessary action on GHG shipping emissions must be fully global, practical and not distort competition. The UK Government must now work with ports and shipping industry on realistic and achievable aims.
- Necessary action on GHG shipping emissions must be fully global, practical and not distort competition
- UK Government must work with ports and shipping industry on realistic and achievable aims
- Shipping still the most environmentally friendly way to move freight
Commenting on the IMO’s ongoing discussions on a Greenhouse Gas strategy for shipping this week in London, Mark Simmonds, Policy Manager at the British Ports Association – which represents over 100 UK port authorities and operators – said:
“Whilst this is primarily an issue for the shipping industry, ports play an important role in providing bunkering and waste reception facilities. Ports will look for a clear and practical strategy that will not disadvantage any particular region or otherwise distort competition.
“Once the MEPC wraps up, it is important that any agreements at the IMO this week are implemented by the UK Government in a pragmatic and sensible manner. It is vital that costs do not threaten shipping routes or make certain older ships serving some port markets unviable. It is important that we get this right but at the same time remember that moving freight by sea is still by far the most environmentally-friendly way to facilitate global trade – as well as ensuring our economy continues to function and our food and energy supplies are secure. In comparison with other transport modes shipping is an efficient and environmentally sustainable option.
“On ship to shore power, the costs of installing such infrastructure and requirements on the national and regional electricity grids could be substantial. As an industry we will continue to work with Government on the challenges and viability of this but the evidence suggests it is not a panacea. It is important that the wider issues are tackled by Government and industry collaborating and working towards clear goals with a foundation of firm evidence of what works.”
The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is meeting in London this week (9-12 April) to determine the initial IMO strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships. Some port-related measures are listed among the short-term support actions to achieve the objectives and include the provision shore-side/on-shore power supply from renewable sources, infrastructure to support supply of alternative low carbon and zero-carbon fuels as well as further optimisation of the logistic chain and its planning, including ports.