ICS: Shipping Cannot Achieve Climate Goals Using Fossil Fuels

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By MarEx 2019-02-12 20:51:00

The International Chamber of Shipping has concluded that it will not be possible to achieve the                  IMO's target for greenhouse gas cuts using fossil fuels.

The determination is in line with recent research on the greenhouse-gas profile of liquefied                         natural gas, the primary alternative marine fuel on the market today. Studies have found that                     LNG offers a relatively small 6-10 percent GHG reduction compared with HFO (and, with                           certain engine designs, the possibility of a GHG increase). By comparison, IMO aims for a                         50 percent cut in GHG  emissions by 2050.

"The ICS Board agreed that the industry cannot achieve the 2050 GHG reduction target using              fossil fuels," said ICS chairman Esben Poulsson. "Over the next decade we are therefore                           going to require massive investment in research and development of zero CO2 emitting                              propulsion systems and other technologies which don’t yet exist in a form that can be                                readily applied to international  shipping, especially in deep sea trades."

As recently as two years ago, ICS leadership had indicated that change was certain in the                          long run, but shipping would still have to rely on fossil fuels for decades. "Governments need                      to recognize that many ships will remain dependent on fossil fuels probably at least until around                2050,” Simon Bennett, ICS Director of Policy, at a bunkering forum in Athens in November 2017.               “But the momentum created by the Paris Agreement on climate change means that the wholesale            switch to alternative fuels and propulsion systems will be relentless and inevitable.”

Short term changes

In the short term, ICS now endorses IMO's goal to tighten the Energy Efficiency Design                           Index (EEDI) standards - which have long been criticized by environmental groups as too                          lax - and to strengthen Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) requirements.

“We need IMO to make progress with short term GHG reduction measures as soon as                     possible to achieve measurable additional GHG reductions by 2023,” said Poulsson.                                  “But while these short term measures are very important we want IMO to move on to                                  developing the critical long term measures that will truly help the industry to decarbonize                  completely.”



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