IMO SHOULD SET GREENHOUSE GAS TARGETS - INTERTANKO
Tanker owners group Intertanko has called on the International Maritime Organization to set early target levels for the energy efficiency of new ships. Setting such targets would become part of the discussions on the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships which is currently under consideration by the MEPC.
Such targets would, Intertanko said, help the shipping industry to fit its work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the context of the global reductions which are under discussion at the IMO, and which will be centre stage at the COP 15 meetings on climate change in December this year in Copenhagen, where an ambitious global climate agreement is planned to be developed for the period from 2012 when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires. Intertanko wants the IMO to set levels as the international shipping regulatory body, rather than have the COP 15/UNFCCC Copenhagen meeting hand down green house gas targets to the industry.
The organisation said its members have been testing the IMO"s EEDI formula for newbuildings and "strongly support its application as soon as possible".
For existing ships, Intertanko has already developed a draft Ship Energy Management Plan (SEMP) specifically for tankers, based on the IMO"s Ship Energy Management Plan guide. A growing number of Intertanko members already apply operational measures aimed at improving ship"s fuel efficiency, and the tanker SEMP will facilitate a harmonised and comprehensive recording, monitoring and reporting of the results, all aimed at achieving a coordinated, efficient CO2 emissions reduction from tankers in service. Such operational measures already being actively investigated and applied by the shipping industry include more frequent hull/propeller cleaning, alternative coatings, better route planning, speed management.
"There has been much discussion as to whether Market Based Instruments (MBIs) (such as an emissions trading scheme, a bunker levy, an International GHG Compensation Fund) should be part of any regulation to reduce ship emissions," Intertanko said. "It is unclear whether such a move would be feasible in practice, with questions around enforcement, monitoring and lack of compliance when things occur beyond a ship"s control. On the other hand, target levels for new ships could be agreed and set in a relatively short time, and it will be possible in time to agree and set targets for existing ships. We believe that setting target levels for the energy efficiency of ships is the best route in practice to achieve tangible emission reductions."
In addition, Intertanko said it was wholeheartedly supportive of Marpol Annex VI on air emissions from ships. "North America"s proposed Emissions Control Area is a positive step to further the aims of Annex VI," it said. "However we are concerned at the unilateral nature of Europe"s marine fuel sulphur directive and in particular at the requirement for burning maximum 0.1% sulphur fuel at berth from January 2010 contained therein. This requirement is not in line with internationally agreed rules and furthermore it is a safety risk. Intertanko emphasises the importance of the EU fully aligning itself with international regulation agreed in IMO, and doing so sooner rather than later to avoid operational confusion/unnecessary fuel switching and safety risks."