The International Energy Agency has said the International Maritime Organization should take “proactive action” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping to meet the ‘2 degrees Celsius’ goal.
The 2DS goal lays out an energy system deployment pathway and an emissions trajectory consistent with at least a 50% chance of limiting the average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.
According to an IMO decision, the global sulfur cap on bunker fuel will fall to 0.5% from 2020 onwards, from its current level 3.5%, while a policy for curtailing shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions is still in the early stages of development.
“Fuel price increases due to the sulfur cap could stimulate interest in efficiency and reduce energy use, but technologies that reduce SOx [sulfur oxides] emissions — except for advanced biofuels, low-carbon synthetic fuels and, to a much lesser extent, LNG — will not lower GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions,” IEA said in its latest report ‘Tracking Clean Energy Progress: 2017’ this month.
In 2013, IMO introduced the Energy Efficiency Design Index, the first energy efficiency standard for new ships, mandating a minimum improvement in the energy efficiency for new ships.
IMO’s EEDI mandates a 1% annual improvement in the efficiency of the global fleet, that too new ships from 2015 to 2025.
IEA said that getting on track to meet the 2DS target requires annual efficiency improvement of 1.9% megajoule per vehicle kilometer (MJ/vkm), and 2.3% MJ per ton kilometer (MJ/tkm), between 2015 and 2025.
So, a gap exists.
Defining a GHG emissions mitigation target for international shipping is a first step toward bridging the gap to meet the 2DS targets, IEA said, adding that “raising the ambition of the EEDI, introducing mandatory standards on operational efficiency (also requiring proper monitoring of ship performances), and pricing GHG emissions are effective instruments to move in this direction.”
IEA has also recommended stimulating the engagement of ports in encouraging reduction in GHG emissions from ships and introducing carbon taxes on shipping fuels based on their life-cycle GHG emissions.