Calling for greater legal clarification

Robert Ashdown
Robert Ashdown
Dimitris Pachakis
Dimitris Pachakis
Alan Cartwright
Alan Cartwright
Alfons Guinier
Alfons Guinier

At the 2nd Annual “Reducing Air Pollution and CO2 Emissions from Shipping and in Ports” Conference, several of the speakers underlined the need for greater legal clarification from regulators about climate change policy.

The 2nd “Reducing Air Pollution  and CO2 Emissions from Shipping  and in Ports” Conference took  place in London in October, organised by  Waterfront Conferences.  In his introduction, Conference  moderator Dr Stephen Ladyman MP  confirmed that this is a topical subject,  especially in the UK with the Climate  Change Bill - with Ed Miliband’s recent  commitment to an 80% cut in CO2,  international shipping and aviation must  play its part in this cut. Politicians are  under pressure from the green lobby to  write shipping into the UK’s Climate  Change Bill, but Ladyman felt that this  would be a foolish thing to do, as it could  result in British ship operators changing  their flags. Ladyman believes that it will  only work if carried out in co-operation  with the international shipping industry. 


Neil Golbourne, Committee on  Climate Change

described the  Committee’s three main tasks and how the  UK can meet these goals. These are:

 1. To set long term (2050) target for  emissions 

2. To set the level of carbon budget for  2008 – 2022 

3. Advise if international shipping should be  included in the Climate Change Bill 


In terms of the International Aviation  & Shipping (IA&S) shipping should  be included because it has a stronger  impact than aviation, with larger CO2  emissions. He warned if shipping continued  unconstrained it will create 15-30% of  the global emissions. Golbourne suggested  some solutions; better routing and speed  reduction, technological advancements  and different fuels, and solar panels for the  hotel accommodation on board.  However, barriers to such action  include incentivisation of ship builders  to incorporate the technology. With  reference to the Bill, it was questioned how  to calculate emissions for ships with long  journeys? Choosing to refuel elsewhere will  just shift UK emissions. He cautioned that  UK climate change targets should include  international shipping, but at present  given the uncertainty and complexities,  the proposed budgets should not factor in  international shipping. 


Robert Ashdown,  Head of the  Technical  Department at the  British Chamber  of Shipping 

discussed the  political overview  and the intense  international  timetable, as well  as the balance needed between action  and momentum. Ashdown explained  that there are two stages - the technical  and operational measures and the  economic instruments. The technical and  operational measures are a CO2 design  index and energy rating for all new ships,  the operational index for existing ships,  a management plan and guide for best  practice. The economic instruments  draw on the fact that shipping responds  to world trade – and doesn’t drive it; and  the employment of an Emissions Trading  Scheme, or levy, or compensation fund.  The industry is currently committed  to reducing the impact of shipping but  without placing a cap on world trade and  the global economy. Any solutions reached  will have to fit the holistic picture. Market  Based Instruments (MBI) are difficult  because there is no guidance as to what  level of reduction is required. He suggested  that there are two ways forward; a form of  MBI that should be flag and global blind  and the use of Bunker Delivery Notes  (BDN) to determine carbon emissions.


Eivind Vågslid, Head, Chemical and  Air Pollution Prevention Section,  Marine Environment International  Maritime Organisation (IMO)

reminded  delegates that 90% of the world’s trade  is carried by sea. Annex VI applies to all  ships and to fixed and floating drill rigs,  and on 1 October 2008 was ratified by 25  states accounting for 80.36% of the world  tonnage.  Vågslid explained the context of Annex  VI and the three tiers of activity decided  in MEPC 53 (July 2005). He further  explained that particulate matter (PM)  will be reduced as a result of the SOX  reduction. hence no explicit PM limit  being set. There are variant caps globally;  3.5% by 2012 and 0.5% by 2020 (subject to  review). Completion is set for 2018 but if  this is unsuccessful 0.5% will be the default  until 2025. For ECAs the figure for sulphur  reduction to be reached is 1.00% from 1st  July 2010 and this will fall further to 0.1%  on 1st January 2015. The use of exhaust  cleaning systems, scrubbers, and other  technology or low emission fuel maybe used  to meet these sulphur limits. 


Dimitris Pachakis,  Moffat & Nichol 

reviewed how ports  can improve their  environmental  profile and reduce  air emissions.  Shipping industry  has different  problems compared  to ports, which  have to work with the local community.  Container ports include vessels, tugs &  harbour craft, cargo handling equipment,  trucks and trains – all powered by diesel  fuel  Diesel fuel produces a range of pollutants  – SO2, NOX and particulate matter (PM),  all of which have an impact on human  health. And CO2, which affects global  warming. 

Identifying the target of sustainable  port operations is a key goal: is it climate  change? Is it human health? There is no  overall strategy for all ports – but Moffatt  & Nichol identifies two types of strategy: 


1.     Source Control: involving the  development of technology such  as cleaner fuels, exhaust scrubbing,  cold-ironing. This is relatively easy  to implement, but can take time and  considerable investment. It is effective  and necessary, but results vary 

2.     2. Process Control: focusing at 

bringing efficiency into the process,  thus consuming less energy. This  focuses more on a port’s processes and  information technology – and less on  infrastructure. It is faster to implement,  but harder to quantify 


Moffat & Nichol have created a  methodology with activity based models  on load factor and operating time, which is  compatible with the recent IAPH emission  control tool box. Process control measures  include: reduction of congestion hours,  increased double cycling of handling  equipment and tractors.  (An extended version of Moffatt and  Nichol’s presentation will be included  in the January/February 2009 issue of  GreenPort Journal) 


Alan Cartwright,  Marine Engineer  at the Port of  London Authority 

explained the lack  of world standard  for merchant ships  to provide for shore  power. Work is  progressing, but it  is less suitable for  short stays and variant ship types. There  are benefits to shore-side diesel generators  but it is not quite there in terms of the  environmental aspects.  He discussed alternative marine power  (AMP) and the options - including barge  mounted AMP, ship-mounted solutions  and containerised AMP solutions - but  noted that these may not be ideal for  smaller ports or those some distance from  adequate power supply.  Port offset pollution is one further  alternative for reduction with Ports  examining what they can do, including  cargo handling, port transportation, port  located power generation. Cartwright  advocated Ports making full use of the  real estate available either for use with  in the port or for renewable energy  source locations. All the suggestions  need Government understanding and  recognition at both local and national  level. 


Alfons Guinier,  Secretary-General  of the European  Community  Ship owners’  Association  (ECSA)

 expressed  concern regarding  the MARPOL  Annex VI target  for ECAs to reduce  SOX emissions to 0.1% by 2015. ECSA are  pleased with the global solution that has  been found, but are currently reviewing  the 0.1% figure. Guinier cited this figure  as a contributing factor to the modal shift  from sea to road. Initial studies (released in  June 2008) looking at Baltic and Germany  show that the fear of this shift is real.  Consequences of the 0.1% decision include  cost increases of 100% for operators and  they would have to increase rates by 50%,  which will further encourage the shift.  The knock-on effect of this is that those  operators considering the ordering of new  ships with better engines and technology  may not invest should the market play out  as imagined. ECSA have started  discussions with the relevant commission  services to assess impact analysis into  the extent of the fear and explore viable  solutions. 



Andy Osbourne, Krystallon

explained  the process of seawater scrubbing, in  which particulates are removed from  the exhaust stream by seawater, which  is then cleaned. The water absorbs  and neutralises and all that is emitted  from the funnel is a clean, dry gas. The  contaminated water is cleaned, put into  the water tank and discarded with engine  room waste. The system installed on the  Pride of Kent vessel has required zero crew  intervention, further tests and installations  have occurred in more environmentally  sensitive waters in Alaska.  To meet Method B IMO compliance  the technology is constantly monitored  and has GPS links for live data. Osbourne  estimated the technology pay back at  2-3 months compared with distillates.  The technology could be used for CO2  removal and he anticipated that in five  years it would be common place on all  new vessels.


 Lars Carlsson, SEAaT

encouraged  the optimal use of ships and explained  with emission reduction trading it could  create incentives and reduce costs. If the  speed is reduced by 10% this creates 20%  less emissions. He explained that new  vessel ordering post 2001 has extended  into ‘madness’ and that we do not know  what will happen on the other side of  this heightened ordering period. There is  a risk of over-capacity in shipping, with  too many ships and ship yards. Carlsson  suggested reducing the speed to save the  environment and money, instead working  to build bridges across the period of bust.  Emission reduction trading could make the  transition period easier, but in order for  change for the better legislation is needed.  Further information about the  conference from Hannah Bristow at The  Waterfront Conference Company – email 





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