Sustainable Marine Fuel To Decarbonise the Maritime Industry

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IMO adopts its 2023 strategy for sustainable shipping, setting ambitious fuel targets and net-zero goals to combat climate change and greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime industry.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the specialised agency responsible for regulating international shipping, has taken a significant stride towards a sustainable future. It has done so by adopting its highly anticipated 2023 strategy, which combines net-zero goals and ambitious fuel targets. With this, it solidifies the maritime industry’s commitment to combating climate change and achieving a more environmentally responsible sector, reports Cruise&Ferry.

At the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) meeting, the member states unanimously adopted the revised 2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. The event took place in London, UK, from 3 to 7 July. It was attended by approximately 1,800 delegates either in person or remotely, according to the article.

The key element of the revised strategy is improving energy efficiency to check the carbon footprint of ships. In accordance with this commitment, the strategy establishes indicative checkpoints for tracking progress. The first checkpoint is to decrease yearly greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the global shipping sector by at least 20% by 2030 compared to 2008, but aiming for 30%. The second checkpoint aims for a minimum 70% reduction by 2040, ideally reaching 80%. The article also mentioned that the IMO aims to get 5% of the energy used in global shipping from zero or near-zero emission technologies, sources, and fuels by 2030. The organisation aspires to increase this figure to 10% wherever feasible.

According to the article, plans to develop and finalise a range of candidate measures comprising both technical and economic elements are underway. A “goal-based” marine fuel standard has been underscored as a technical element critical to efficiently regulating the phased reduction of GHG intensity in maritime fuels. Additionally, an economic element will be established based on a marine GHG emissions pricing mechanism to incentivise the adoption of cleaner fuels and technologies.

The revised 2023 IMO Strategy recognises that decoupling carbon dioxide from the maritime industry needs continuous efforts and collaboration between governments, industry stakeholders, and international organisations. It stresses the need for improved energy efficiency, as well as the exploration and adoption of sustainable marine fuel options.

Currently, the international maritime transport industry accounts for over 2-3% of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and the numbers are on an upward trend. Taking into account the growing contribution of the shipping sector in climate change, decarbonising and promoting the adoption of sustainable fuel has become a dire necessity.

However, with less sulfur in sustainable fuel aggravating diesel bug contamination, checking the growth of microbes in fuel is critical. For businesses looking to avoid costly maintenance sessions, ensuring periodic fuel tests using high-end testing kits such as FUELSTAT® is a sensible investment.

Regardless, the new strategy highlights IMO’s commitment towards conducting reviews to enhance design requirements for efficiency, thereby facilitating the transition to a low-carbon shipping industry. This reflects the industry’s commitment to addressing climate change and is in line with wider global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.