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Argus Media: EU must ensure adequate green bunker supply, says WCS

02 Nov 2021

George Collard of global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media on Wednesday (27 October) published a report of the World Shipping Council (WCS) focusing on EU’s availability of alternative marine fuels in achieving decarbonisation.

The World Shipping Council (WCS) has warned the EU that alternative marine fuel supply must be widely available for its decarbonisation policies to work.

The WCS whose members operate 90pc of the world’s container liner capacity and 60pc of total seaborne trade said it is concerned that the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive may not provide enough supply to meet demand after 2030. And it suggests that the EU’s FuelEU Maritime plan would be more successful if fuel use obligations were linked to the availability of green fuels.

The FuelEU Maritime plan is part of the EU’s wider ‘Fit for 55′ package to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the bloc by at least 55pc by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. The aim is to increase the use of green marine fuels in the EU.

Under the plan, there will be mandatory standards on the carbon content of bunker fuels, including on fuels that were bunkered outside of the bloc before a voyage into EU waters. Applying these rules to ships originating outside of the EU could be difficult and would cause an overlap between different regional and global policies, the WCS said.

The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) has also warned that ships originating outside the EU may have significant difficulties in sourcing bunker fuel compliant with the FuelEU Maritime plan, particularly biofuels, compared with intra-EU shipping.

The WCS believes FuelEU Maritime would be more effective if it applied solely to intra-EU shipping. Both the WCS and ECSA have said EU efforts to regulate shipping originating outside of the EU would be difficult to enforce and could undermine the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) efforts to decarbonise global shipping.

The WCS also wants the FuelEU Maritime plan to adopt 2019 as its baseline for reducing GHG emissions rather than 2020, which would harmonise the plan with IMO targets. The group expressed strong support for FuelEU Maritime’s use of lifecycle GHG emissions and also its aim to ensure shipowners and charterers are responsible for cutting emissions.


Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 2 November, 2021

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