Emissions reduction initiative launches

Port of Vancouver The Port of Vancouver is leading the International Collaboration on Ship Emission Reductions. Credit: Wikimedia Commons – Public domain.

A new Vancouver Fraser Port Authority-led initiative aims to help reduce emissions from international shipping more efficiently and effectively through education about incentive programmes and environmental infrastructure.

The International Collaboration on Ship Emission Reductions (ICSER), which also involves the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach and Port of Gothenburg, is seeking stakeholder engagement on its proposal for more collaboration among ports and industry to make it easier to learn about, use and administer ship incentive programmes and to obtain input on the concept of creating a web resource to support ship incentive programmes.

"We want to make it easier, more efficient and more effective for incentive programs (existing and future) to promote voluntary environmental performance in international shipping," said Christine Rigby, environmental specialist - air emissions, with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Accessing infrastructure

ICSER is also currently researching the potential for this web-based portal to support increased use of environmental infrastructure such as shore power, “by making it easier for marine carriers to find out where it’s available, compatibility for their vessels and increase confidence in systems,” explained Ms Rigby.

The reasoning behind the collaboration is that there is a growing number of priorities and opportunities for different maritime stakeholders which is creating complexity. As incentive programmes and environmental infrastructure at each port are promoted independently, it can be challenging for customers to navigate and take advantage of opportunities, potentially hindering participation in schemes and limiting the effectiveness of these opportunities. As initiatives are created separately, there is also a lack of clarity on cumulative economic and environmental benefits.

ICSER proposes to engage with stakeholders to develop a centralised, flow through approach to port incentive programmes and environmental infrastructure globally, with a system that helps ports maintain flexibility in what they incentivise while reducing complexity and any administrative burden for customers, plus improves the efficiency and effectiveness of these programmes as a voluntary means of supporting customers that go beyond regulatory compliance.

Initial engagement with stakeholders is being undertaken through surveys for marine carriers/related associations, ports/related associations/governments, and other stakeholders on ICSER’s recently launched 'Port Talk' website. Following this, ICSER will refine its proposed solution and review this with stakeholders.

In addition to the four ports, the ICSER project team comprises China Waterborne Transport Research Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council (China), the US Environmental Protection Agency and Transport Canada.

The ICSER’s final report will be published in July.

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