Monitoring Ships’ Energy Performance Step in Right Direction

Introduction of fuel monitoring consumption mechanism for ships, approved by the European Parliament, can help CO2 and fuel use cutting happen indirectly, according to Transport and Environment (T&E) NGO umbrella organization.

The regulation, which still requires the support of the Parliament plenary, only monitors fuel consumption, covering CO2 and not air pollutants like SO2 or NOx.

Should it go ahead, all shipping companies calling at EU ports will, for the first time, have to measure and publicly report ships’ energy performance, including carbon emissions.

Ship operators will be required to publicly report three metrics to measure the energy performance of ships: the theoretical energy performance of the ship known as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI); its real-world fuel consumption; and its energy efficiency.

The more cargo a ship can carry using the same amount of fuel, the more efficient and cheaper it is to run.

“The proposed law does not cut CO2 and fuel use directly but can help make it happen indirectly. Transparency in ships’ energy performance contributes to better-informed decisions on which types of ships, companies and routes to use. This move is a stepping stone to an eventual measure to require actual emissions reductions, which is what is urgently needed,” Sotiris Raptis, clean shipping officer at T&E, said.

The environment committee vote and the Council of Ministers’ decision comes as global air pollution from shipping in ports is projected to quadruple by 2050 from current levels, according to the OECD’s International Transport Forum.

Currently ships are responsible for more than 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Commission estimates that CO2 emissions from ships sailing in European waters amounted to 180 million tonnes in 2010. If these emissions were reported as a country, maritime transport would be Europe’s eighth largest emitter.

According to the third greenhouse gas study conducted last year by the UN’s shipping body, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), if other sectors of the economy reduce emissions to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius, while shipping emissions continue on a business-as-usual trajectory, then by 2050 shipping emissions could comprise  a whopping 10% of allowable global GHG emissions.

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