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T&E: Ranking shows worst performers in shipping climate ambition

Data suggests Northern EU members demonstrating higher ambition, compared to Southern and Eastern EU states.




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A new ranking based on written and oral submissions to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) by European Union (EU) countries has shown the participation level of countries in cleaning up the maritime sector’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The ranking, compiled by sustainable transport NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), has shown Germany, Belgium and France to be the most active in pushing for an effective climate plan to be agreed by the IMO. These countries are followed by the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and then the UK, Denmark, Luxembourg and Finland.

The five worst performers in the ranking are Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Croatia. The EU’s biggest shipping registries, Malta, Greece and Cyprus received almost exclusively negative points due to a “near complete lack of ambition in the climate negotiations,” says T&E.

“When the European Parliament demanded action on shipping emissions back in 2017, the big European maritime nations cried out that the EU shouldn’t regulate shipping, as everyone was doing their best to get things done at the IMO,” notes Faig Abbasov, shipping officer with T&E.

“But these same states are now working to derail progress on a climate deal for shipping at the IMO.”

According to T&E, the ranking reveals deep geographical divisions between northern EU countries, which demonstrate higher ambition, and Southern and Eastern EU states, which are generally far less ambitious about ship greenhouse gas reduction targets and measures.

The only notable exception is Spain, which holds fifth position. The ranking includes the 23 EU countries with a coastline plus Luxembourg, which has an active shipping registry despite not being a maritime nation.

IMO will meet in April 2018 to adopt its Initial GHG Strategy for the sector, over 20 years after being first tasked to do so by the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

The key issues on the table are: agreement on a long-term emissions reduction target; a commitment to immediate action; and the shortlisting of candidate short, mid and long-term reduction measures. Immediate measures under discussion include ship operational speed limits (slow steaming) and tighter efficiency standards for new ships as there is massive over-compliance with the weak Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).

“April is the last chance saloon for the shipping industry, the major flag states and the IMO to get their act together,” states Abbasov.

“Shipping can no longer free-ride on the efforts of other sectors. This is a wakeup call for the EU. Either EU governments, especially those with big shipping industries, get serious about delivering a good outcome at IMO, or they will have to accept solutions outside the IMO.”

Photo credit: International Maritime Organization
Published: 23 March, 2018


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IBIA survey: Study on the implementation of IMO SEEMP framework

Survey conducted by World Maritime University and IMO Future Fuels and Technology project to facilitate review of short-term GHG reduction measure.





WMU study website scaled

The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) on Monday (10 June) shared a survey for industry stakeholders interested in contributing to the Study on the implementation of the IMO Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) framework.

The survey is conducted by World Maritime University and the IMO Future Fuels and Technology project to facilitate the review of the short-term GHG reduction measure.

The purpose of this survey is to explore the concrete implementation of the SEEMP framework with attention paid to its three components, namely the energy efficiency management plan (Part I), fuel oil consumption data collection (Part II), and ship operational carbon intensity (Part III). WMU seeks to consult a wide range of interested stakeholders, divided into three groups, with questions tailored to each group:

  • Group 1: Policy making (legislation) and policy execution (regulatory) bodies, including: Flag administrations – member State delegations – PSC – Classification societies – Take Survey
  • Group 2: Policy performers, including: Ship owners- ship operators- ship owner/operator- seafarers – Take Survey
  • Group 3: Observers or other actors’ category, including: Charterers- cargo owners- academia- NGOs – technology providers – training institutes- consultants – other stakeholders – Take Survey

The survey is open until 30 June 2024.


Photo credit: International Bunker Industry Association
Published: 13 June 2024

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Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels revealed a strategic collaboration with Vopak to secure necessary port storage to accommodate green methanol supply in Shanghai, Tianjin and later in Singapore.





Green Marine Fuels Trading, Vopak team up on green methanol port storage facilities

Green Marine Fuels Trading on Tuesday (11 June) announced a strategic collaboration with Royal Vopak Terminals in the key ports of Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang, China. 

The firm said the milestone agreement marked the next phase of methanol supply chain infrastructure expansion for Green Marine Fuels Trading, securing necessary port storage capacity to accommodate projected supply of green methanol from Chinese business partners.  

Green Marine will be undertaking a similar cooperation plan with Vopak Singapore as well. 

Gavin McGrath, Director at Green Marine, said: “This is an important milestone in the evolution of Green Marine Fuels Trading and further underscores our preparedness to supply green methanol to the imminent green transition within the shipping industry.” 

“Our leadership in the global methanol marine fuel sector uniquely positions us to bridge the gap between methanol producers and buyers, with storage and supply infrastructure being a crucial link in the chain.”

“We eagerly anticipate leveraging our expertise in these domains to enrich the Shanghai and Tianjin green port and marine fuel ecosystems.”

Manifold Times previously reported Vopak signing a strategic cooperation agreement with the Vice Mayor of Tianjin delegation to support the repurposing of Vopak Tianjin's infrastructure for new energies, including green methanol, sustainable aviation fuel, and potentially ammonia and liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC).

Vopak said Tianjin Port Group will work closely with Vopak to develop a green methanol bunkering service solution.

Related: Tianjin Port Group and Vopak partner to develop green methanol bunkering service


Photo credit: Green Marine Group
Published: 12 June 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Fresh Carriers and Zespri complete first biofuel trial onboard “Kakariki”

Vessel was bunkered with bio bunker fuel in Hong Kong as there is none available in New Zealand; further biofuel trials between FCC and Zespri are planned using other FCC vessels.





Fresh Carriers and Zespri complete first biofuel trial onboard “Kakariki”

New Zealand's largest horticultural exporter Zespri on Tuesday (11 June) said one of its international shipping partners, Fresh Carriers Co Ltd (FCC), has successfully completed a trial using biofuel in a charter vessel operating between Hong Kong and New Zealand, according to Zespri on Tuesday (11 June).

The purpose of the trial was to test the performance of the ship’s engines when burning biofuel.

The cargo ship Kakariki bunkered the biofuel in Hong Kong at the end of last month before starting its voyage south, arriving at the Port of Tauranga at the weekend. 

The vessel was powered by a blend of biofuel which is made from used cooking oil. The Kakariki bunkered the biofuel in Hong Kong because there is none available in New Zealand - if and when biofuel does become available in New Zealand it will present more opportunities for Zespri’s chartered ships to burn this low-emission fuel.

Zespri Chief Operating Officer Jason Te Brake said the biofuel trial by FCC is a collaborative step forward for the industry as it seeks to decarbonise and future proof through innovative solutions such as low emissions shipping.

“With Zespri having limited ability to directly reduce shipping emissions ourselves, we’re working with key shipping and distribution partners like FCC to increase the efficiency of our shipping and logistics, and make the transition to low emissions fuels.

“The biofuel trial with FCC is an important step forward and has given us both important technical insights, with the Kakariki monitored throughout its journey to make sure the biofuel performed well with no unforeseen technical issues. It’s fantastic to see it dock successfully in Tauranga.”

FCC Director Toshiyuki Koga said FCC was proud to see the Kakariki, which is the company’s first vessel to trial biofuel, arrive safely in Tauranga.

“We have been in discussions with Zespri for a number of months about carrying out this trial and are now looking forward to further biofuel trials using other FCC vessels. We are also considering a northbound trial taking Zespri Kiwifruit to market this season.

“Biofuel supply chains are complex and there is still work to be done to ensure stable supply, however this trial is a first step towards decarbonisation with Zespri.”

Jason Te Brake added: “New Zealand’s place at the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean means accessing low emissions fuel options is a challenge, and we are actively seeking partners to shore up access to more sustainable fuels to meet our ambitious targets and the expectations of our customers and consumers.

“It’s been positive working with our long term partner FCC recognising the importance of decarbonising and future proofing the industry. This trial is a step forward and we’re pleased to be on the path to introducing low emissions fuels to carry Zespri Kiwifruit to our markets around the world in the future.”


Photo credit: Zespri
Published: 12 June 2024

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