Home » Breaking News, Maritime » Only speed limits can achieve IMO’s 2030 GHG reduction target: EU study

A new study on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of ships says short-term policy measures on speed limits need to be quickly adopted by the international shipping sector in order to cut operational GHG emissions of the existing fleet.

The study, released recently by CE Delft and UMAS and funded by the European Commission, concluded that only policies that mandate changes in how the existing fleet is operated can help achieve the sector’s emission reduction objectives.

The study showed that “only a subset of potential policy options, namely those that mandate changes in how the existing fleet is operated can achieve the significant effect required to meet the sector’s emission reduction objectives.”

It added: “Examples of these policies are speed limits or mandatory limits on operational efficiency or shaft power.”

The document, entitled “Study methods and considerations for the determination of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for international shipping,” analyzed the potential short-term measures listed in the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) initial strategy on reducing GHG emissions from ships.

The IMO strategy, adopted in April 2018, includes commitments to peak emissions as soon as possible to improve the carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030 (compared to 2008), and to reduce the total annual emissions by at least 50% by 2050 (compared to 2008).

The specific policy measures that can turn those commitments into practice are being considered by the IMO and will be discussed as part of the IMO negotiations to be held from May 13 to May 17.

The measures considered in the study are those that could enter into force imminently and help to control GHG emissions over the period between now and 2030, said the European Commission in a release.

Several countries have submitted concrete proposals to the IMO for reduction measures. These include proposals for speed limits, for the improvement of ship’s operational efficiency as well as a proposal for a shaft power limit.

According to the study, “such proposals can be compatible with the IMO’s objectives, if they are set at a sufficiently strict level.”

At the same time, the study considered options for non-mandatory limits that use existing policy (Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan, SEEMP) to incentivize greater efficiency.

It concluded that “such non-mandatory limits were deemed ineffective, as they would reduce GHG emissions by not more than 2% from the expected business-as-usual levels.”

The IMO meeting this May will also discuss options to further strengthen the current internationally agreed energy efficiency rules under the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) regulation. The study analyzed the emissions reduction impacts of further increasing the stringency of this regulation.

“The study found that these changes would not bring about any significant GHG reductions by 2030. However, they would achieve more impact further into the future,” said the release.

Photo: Bahnfrend

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