The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) organised a workshop on the practical implementation of measures to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, attended by representatives of the European Commission, the European Maritime Safety Agency, the Member States, as well as industry stakeholders and environmental organisations.
The focus was on the opportunities and challenges of reducing the shipping industry’s carbon footprint. The speakers presented concrete initiatives in alternative propulsion technology, such as sails, hydrogen or methanol, and improving the energy efficiency of existing ships. Moreover, participants also discussed the current limitations of available abatement technologies, ranging from technological maturity and financing to crew training and on-board safety considerations.
It is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the shipping industry. Each segment of the European Shipping industry is facing different challenges. Representatives of the tramp/bulk sector, liner shipping, short sea shipping, and off-shore vessels showcased this through a variety of actions already taken today to reduce their carbon footprint.
‘EU shipowners support the International Maritime Organisation’s Initial Strategy adopted in April 2018 and are committed to being part of the solution through their continued investment in innovative and sustainable solutions’, commented Martin Kröger, Chairman of ECSA’s Safety and Environment Committee and moderator of the workshop. New means of propulsion, new alternative fuels and collaboration with partners in the supply chain, such as seaports , are necessary to eventually reach full decarbonisation.
In this context, the EU shipowners call for the EU to play a constructive role at IMO level and for global rules to be developed at international level to avoid reducing the competitiveness of European shipping. Furthermore, the EU should support Research & Innovation that will help drive the sector towards a carbon neutral future. ECSA is committed to continue engaging a constructive dialogue with the European decision makers as a trusted partner.