United Nations Agency for Arabia: the maritime sector will have to abandon fossil fuels

The head of the United Nations International Maritime Organization’s Department of Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency, Roel Honders, said that ten years ago the organization developed mandatory energy efficiency legislation that covered the global maritime sector. , as the organization obliged all new ships in Construction in shipyards to be more efficient in its performance.

He explained that these controls have been tightened in recent years. In 2018, the organization approved a historic agreement that outlines our strategy to combat greenhouse gases and sets objectives linked to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in front of the global fleet of ships, which number more than fifty thousand units.

Members agreed to reduce the carbon intensity of ships by 40% by 2030 from 2008 levels and to reduce this to 50% by 2050. In June of questyear, the organization has agreed on a number of additional controls that will come in in force in November From next year 2022, it will help to achieve our goals for the year 2030 by transforming them in mandatory requirements imposed on Member States and beyond in engagements. Members also agreed that this strategy will be revised in 2023 to ensure that we are halfway through our path towards reducing carbon emissions from the shipping sector.


He stated that there is a wide range of technologies that can be used today for this matter, which can be applied, as they can be installed on ships, in according to their size and type, such as oil vessels or containers. ships.

He continued: “The techniques that can be used differ for the smaller ships sailing on the coast compared to the larger ones sailing in the oceans. Therefore, for each type of ship there are different technologies and solutions, starting from how to maintain the ship’s hull and the type of paint used, up to modifications to the ship’s propeller to improve the aerodynamics of the ship and therefore reduce its energy. consumption.”

He pointed out that there are other efficiency measures such as pneumatic lubrication of the ship’s hull in order to reduce friction, as well as adjusting the navigation speed to reach the port at the optimum time, which ensures that the ship is moored directly on its place. designated time instead of waiting in front of the port waiting for its entrance.

Wind energy

He continued: “We also note the increase in the number of ships installing wind power on board, as well as the use of alternative fuels such as biofuels and methanol, which improve energy efficiency. We believe that the IMO legislation encourages the naval industry. to innovate in this sense, and therefore encourages ships to adopt such solutions ”.

He said the maritime sector will have to move away from fossil fuels to meet its carbon emissions commitments.

And “today we see many promising initiatives and alternatives. In the field of alternative fuels there are ammonia, hydrogen, methanol and organic gas. They are all promising solutions for decarbonising shipping,” according to Rowell.

He continued: “But the biggest challenge at this level is the large price difference between high-sulfur fuel oil on the one hand, which is cheap and available everywhere, and low-carbon fuels on the other. other. This current price gap needs to be bridged. “

Carbon price

Members of the organization have initiated discussions on establishing measures that include, for example, a carbon limit in the bunker fuel. In addition to the possibility of establishing a carbon pricing mechanism, and with the introduction of new fuel for ships.

It stresses the need to ascertain the total emissions generated by the fuel over its entire life cycle. “Today we hear about hydrogen, for example, but we have to make sure it is green and not made of coal, for example. Therefore, we believe that putting in market-based measures coupled with the carbon price will stimulate demand for low-fuel carbon bunkers, which are now priced higher than other heavy fuels ”.

The organization has already received a number of proposals in this regard from some of our members and they will be discussed with all our members by the end of the year.

Claimed that the main way in where most ships adhered to the 2020 requirements was the use of low sulfur fuel oil.

What contributed to this was that its price remained relatively low throughout prime weeks of adoption of the new requirements, especially in light of the effects of the Corona pandemic. But now, as the price difference between heavy fuel oil and low sulfur fuel oil increases, we have begun to notice an increase in the number of ships installing exhausts to reduce the sulfur content in their emissions. However, due to some national emissions restrictions imposed by some ports, we believe that the adoption of low sulfur fuel oil will be the most popular way to meet IMO 2020 requirements and in Overall compliance rates with the new requirements are very high, which will have a significant impact on human health and the environment, according to Roel.

European Union

The European Union has expanded its emissions trading program to now include the maritime sector in early 2022. “The organization made this decision in 2016. So there was enough time for all concerned, almost four years, to prepare for the new requirements that have come in vigor, “he says. In early 2020. This time frame has allowed the shipbuilding industry and refineries to adapt and increase the supply of low sulfur fuel oil. We have only noticed a few cases of low sulfur fuel. sulfur not available only in the first days after entry in force of the decision. Therefore, we believe that the global refining industry is ready to serve the maritime market and its needs and our successful experience will provide us with invaluable experience during our upcoming negotiations on adopting further climate measures. “

He explained that emissions from ships in territorial waters can be part of international shipping, and that depends on the way in which are calculated.

“For example, a ship can sail between two cities in the same country and then complete its voyage on international lines. But in future, low-carbon fuels such as green ammonia, hydrogen and methanol must be available in all ports in order to compete with heavy fuel oil. This is a necessary thing. Especially in the early stages to support the demand for these types of fuels and reduce their prices relative to heavy fuels.Here governments have to play their role in promoting the increased demand from seafarers in their territorial waters, especially as these vessels ply short distances and this makes them more flexible in using alternative fuels than their international counterparts, ”according to Roel.

It is worth noting that in November of last year 2020, the International Maritime Organization adopted a resolution calling on all members to present national action plans to reduce emissions from national shipping.

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