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  • 2021 March 31 14:58

    IMO publishes short list of actions for quick carbon footprint reduction in shipping

    To support the Low Carbon Shipping effort, the IMO Global Industry Alliance (GIA) published a guide with eight practical measures seaports can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. The Port of Rotterdam was actively involved in bringing about the guide and has put part of the recommended measures into practice already, the Port of Rotterdam Authority said in a media release.

    The guide, published on 25 March, was drawn up within the framework of the GreenVoyage2050 project, a collaboration between the Norwegian government and the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) to support international shipping in reducing harmful emissions. Specialists from ports, terminals, and shipping have participated in the study into measures that can be realised in the short term and at relatively low costs.

    Ben van Scherpenzeel represents the Port of Rotterdam in the IMO Global Industry Alliance to support Low Carbon Shipping and the WPCAP port network (World Ports Climate Action Programme). He is also the chairman of the International Taskforce Port Call Optimization, which organised six Industry Round Tables with experts from shipping and ports last year. “At these sessions, the data elements which had most impact on the safety, security, and environmental objectives of the IMO were identified, in addition to the operational matters with the strongest impact on emissions. This was the basis for working with the IMO GIA and WPCAP on a short list of measures to reduce the carbon footprint in shipping. Of some twenty measures discussed at the session, eight were selected on the basis of feasibility, quick deployment, and favourable secondary effects on safety and security. These measures are about improved planning of routing and turnaround times in and between ports, changing fuel in ports, offering hull cleaning activities, and speed optimisation.”

    Ports can implement each measure individually or all measures together. The latter yields maximum reduction of harmful emissions. The WPCAP port network has already decided that each of the participating ports evaluates at least one of the measures from the IMO list for feasibility this year and ideally implements it. Twelve international seaports in this network combine forces with respect to specific projects to counter climate change, involving as many shipping companies, terminals, and energy suppliers as possible. “As a port authority, we cannot do this alone,” Van Scherpenzeel says. “Just-in-time arrivals and simultaneous activities, for instance, require the cooperation of many stakeholders. Measures can only be implemented successfully if port authorities have done their homework first.”

    As to these and other measures from the guide, the Port of Rotterdam will be taking some further steps together with the relevant stakeholders in the time ahead. These eight measures have already been partly implemented in the port of Rotterdam, or they are part of the Port Call Optimisation plan. “We are working hard on publishing all depth data with international standards, for instance,” according to Van Scherpenzeel. “We have also created excellent preconditions for cleaning hulls in our seaports.”

    Now that the short list has been published, the IMO Global Industry Alliance is also looking at several measures that require higher investment or that are more difficult to implement.

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