Ports welcome IMO GHG deal

Patrick Verhoeven Patrick Verhoeven: “We see the agreement primarily as an important first step"

An agreement to reduce shipping CO2 emissions by “at least” 50% on 2008 levels by 2050 has been welcomed by global port authorities.

Over 170 countries reached an agreement on IMO’s Green House Gas (GHG) strategy, adopted at the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72) on 13 April, with a strong emphasis on scaling up action to phase out emissions completely.

International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) managing director policy and strategy Patrick Verhoeven said: “We see the agreement primarily as an important first step.

“We look forward to cooperating with our colleagues in the shipping industry, NGOs and governments in the implementation work that now lies ahead until the finalisation of the IMO strategy in 2023.”

Practical measures

Suggested measures that ports can take to help facilitate the shipping industry in reducing its GHG emissions include provision of ship and onshore power supply from renewable sources, infrastructure to support supply of alternative low and zero-carbon fuels and optimisation of logistics chain planning.

These topics are on the agenda of the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP), launched last month by IAPH.

While negotiations were still ongoing, Mark Simmonds, policy manager at the British Ports Association, commented that action on GHG shipping emissions must be fully global, practical and not distort competition. He added that “ports play an important role in providing bunkering and waste reception facilities.”

Meeting the GHG target means that in the 2030s most newly built ocean-going vessels will run on zero carbon renewable fuels. Ships, which transport over 80% of global trade, will become free from fossil fuels by then.

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