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Cargo owners are demanding more transparency as current rules in the maritime transport sector forbid the publication of carbon footprint data.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)discussed viable ways to track down the energy efficiency of the entire global merchant fleet, which counts c. 50,000 ships. Countries agreed to collect information on the carbon footprint of their ships, but there’s no clarity yet about what kind of data will have to be collected or about how this information will be used.

Hitherto many transport buyers have signed up to the Clean Shipping Index, a tool for cargo owners to select clean ships and minimize their own environmental footprint. This register shows the environmental performance of more than 2000 ships from 50 carriers, but for every ship covered, 24 are not, so companies often have to guess the environmental impact of their maritime transport and are not able to supply transparent data to their customers.

Some countries, such as Norway and Ireland, have already expressed their support for measures imposing transparent reporting on states, but others object that data from individual ships are commercially sensitive and should not be made public. Because of these disagreements, the current international policy regulating emissions in the sipping sector is completely unsatisfactory, as IMO can collect data for its own analysis, but can’t publish it for shipping clients.

Given that the marine transport sector is accountable for 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, new regulations need to be implemented, or the shipping share will probably double by 2050. In relation to this matter, Jytte Guteland, a Swedish politician, stressed that “if the maritime sector would like to be a leading sector in the future … it needs to also be one of the sectors who takes responsible actions for climate change”.

The European Union has already committed to registering the emissions of large ships visiting its ports starting from 2018.


The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

(Source: RTCC)