Urgency of making shipping more sustainable on a global level

We have joined forces with companies and stakeholders to dedicate ourselves to improve the sustainability of the port and its industrial complex. In addition to investing in projects that focus on a more sustainable industry, we are also actively taking part in the development of initiatives that will facilitate the transition to greener transport. These initiatives consist, on the one hand, of projects that are aiming for a higher level of efficiency in the use of different modalities. On the other hand, the initiatives in question focus on measures that minimise the emission of greenhouse gasses (e.g. CO2) and other harmful substances, such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides. Examples of the latter vary from the development and improvement of infrastructure to stimulate the use of alternative fuels, for example biofuels and LNG, to gaining more active support for policy measures such as the Environmental Shipping Index and the introduction of a SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Area) in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Therefore the Port of Rotterdam Authority welcomes the decision of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to lower the global sulphur limit in marine fuels to 0.5% by 2020. This is fully in line with EU policy and will significantly reduce the adverse impacts of ship emissions on health and the environment.

In the Paris Climate Agreement, signed in December 2015 (COP21), the 195 parties agreed on ambitious emission reduction objectives. Their goal is to keep the rise in temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius when compared with global pre-industrial levels, but striving for a maximum rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius. By setting this goal, the parties hope to limit the speed and impact of climate change. However, to achieve this ambition as soon as possible, all of the sectors involved will have to make a meaningful contribution. It would, therefore, be a missed opportunity if the international shipping industry was not included in such agreements. The Port of Rotterdam Authority supports the provisional solutions COP21 offers, and is convinced it is essential for the international shipping sector to act responsibly and reduce its CO2 emission.

Since international shipping is a global industry, a global IMO policy based on tackling emissions at their source would be most effective. The Port of Rotterdam Authority appreciates that proposing a European regulation places additional pressure on the IMO. The European regulation should be formulated in such a way that it forces the global industry to reduce CO2 emission and simultaneously safeguards the level playing field and the competitiveness within the European maritime sector. Source-based policy on a global level must be ambitious and stimulate shipping companies and shipping lines to become more sustainable. The key outcomes of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC, October 2016) are a step in the right direction, yet they are not in line with the timeline of the Paris Climate Agreement. The Port of Rotterdam Authority encourages the development of a global strategy by IMO and asks for extra attention for the pace with which measures will be developed and implemented.

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