Shipping companies are still waiting for “real green” fuel solutions as part of decarbonisation efforts to clean up the industry, a leading industry official said.
Shipping, which transports around 90% of world trade and accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions, is under growing pressure from environmentalists to deliver more concrete action including a carbon levy.
“We are still awaiting engine and ship builders to come up with real green solutions,” Haralambos Fafalios, chairman of the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee (GSCC), said in a speech at an annual event in London this week.
“We need a simple incentive such as a fuel levy as a medium term measure until safe alternative fuels become available in the long term.”
The industry has been testing a number of cleaner fuel options including ammonia and methanol as well as trialling wind sails in an effort to look for new solutions away from dirtier bunker fuel.
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Fafalios said many companies, whether in shipping or commodity traders, “are touting the strengths of their favourite fuels, but none so far have a real green footprint on a well-to- wake basis”.
Well-to-wake refers to the measurement of emissions from fuel production to fuel consumption onboard a ship.
Fafalios said “none of these alternative green, zero or low carbon fuels yet have a global bunkering or cost infrastructure to support the world fleet”.
“Ammonia for example is at present a very dangerous fuel and not enough safety measures have been put into place to make it a realistic option.”
The London-based GSCC is one of the leading bodies representing Greek shipping, which is among the world’s biggest shipowners.