Calling for greater legal clarification
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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