Port of Rotterdam Authority calls for North-West European coalition for joint CO2 price
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is calling on the Dutch Government to form a coalition with countries in North-West Europe so that a joint CO2 price can be introduced, the company said in its press release. At the Port Authority’s Energy in Transition Summit 2018 on the RDM site in Rotterdam, Port Authority CEO Allard Castelein made a powerful case for a much higher CO2 price in conjunction with a new industrial policy for the Netherlands. At the summit, the Port Authority also revealed the results of the CO2 impact of marine and inland shipping. The Port Authority announced that it would introduce an incentive of in total 5 million euros to support vessel owners and charterers that experiment with low-carbon or zero-carbon fuels to promote climate-friendly maritime shipping.
Castelein hopes that a significantly higher CO2 price will stimulate new investments in clean technologies and innovation. “A price in the range of 50-70 euros per ton of CO2 will stimulate companies to invest in solutions that we really need in order to realise the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement.”
In this respect, he warns against an uneven playing field. “I don’t support a solo approach, such as that of the UK with electricity production. As a transit country, the Netherlands is closely linked to the countries that surround it. A North-West European coalition would guarantee a level playing field for the industry.”
Besides the benefits of such a coalition, the Port Authority also stresses the importance of a new industrial policy. “The Government is currently focusing on the reduction of greenhouse gases. In order to switch to a new energy system, as a Government you also need an integral vision and a corresponding industrial policy for the new economy, the future industrial landscape and the type of R&D required to achieve that. I also think that this is an important task for the Government. So: international pricing, national stimulation.”
The Rotterdam/Moerdijk port industrial area faces the challenge of reducing CO2 by 20 million tons per year as of 2030 (–49% compared to 1990). The Port Authority is convinced that this target can be realised as part of the national Climate Agreement.
The target for 2050 is more ambitious. The Port Authority believes that radical changes are required in order to achieve this target.
The Port Authority also presented new research figures at the Energy in Transition Summit 2018. Whereas last year the Port Authority commissioned the Wuppertal Institute to research the options for making industry in the port area sustainable, this year the Institute looked at the transport and logistics sector. The study shows that marine and inland transport with Rotterdam as the destination or departure point is responsible for emissions of around 25 million tons of CO2 every year.
The majority of this amount (21.5 million tons) can be attributed to marine transport. To ensure that this sector also complies with the Paris Climate Agreement, emissions will have to be reduced by 95% by 2050. The first half of this target (up to 50%) can be achieved by efficiency measures, but the remainder will require the deployment of different fuels.
According to the Wuppertal Institute, in the coming decades LNG and biofuels can help shape the transition, but the ultimate goal can only be achieved with electrification and hydrogen and the use of synthetic fuels such as methanol.