WSC calls for linking FuelEU requirements to fuel availability
The World Shipping Council has become the latest organization in the shipping industry to voice concerns about FuelEU maritime regulations, which the European Commission is currently proposing as a tool to promote the use of cleaner fuels. The trade group representing the liner shipping industry says it welcomes the proposal, but like many in shipping, it is also concerned that regulations go beyond the geography of the EU towards global regulation and that the proposal should depend on the availability of the new fuels required.
In a position paper released by the World Shipping Council, the organization says it believes regulation is an opportunity to advance EU goals and help decarbonize international shipping. However, they write, the actual impact of the proposal will depend on optimizing the geographic reach of FuelEU and ensuring that fuel availability keeps pace with fuel usage requirements.
“When working towards a common goal of minimizing total greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the climate impact of shipping, a full life cycle perspective is the only logical approach. This is also why FuelEU’s alignment with RED and AFIR is so important to ensure the delivery of truly clean fuels, ”said John Butler, President and CEO of the World Shipping Council. “Even if every ship in the world could run on alternative fuels – and the industry is working hard to make this happen – it will make no difference to our climate if that fuel is not available from clean sources.”
Among its comments to the EU on the proposal, the WSC writes that it is “essential that the fuel use obligations outlined in the proposal are matched with measures to ensure the provision of appropriate fuels and infrastructure through RED and AFIR. The legal obligation to use certain fuels should depend on their availability.
The trade group also says that the same geographical scope should apply to the fuel use obligation as measures to ensure the supply of clean fuels apply within the EU. They expressed concern that the “extraterritorial reach of FuelEU” presents real risks of overlapping regional and global policies.
“With this, there is a substantial risk that the EU will not influence international shipping as intended,” writes the WSC. “A coherent intra-EU scope for FuelEU would avoid overlapping policy pitfalls and generate the desired climate impact for the Union while supporting international progress through the IMO with the EU in a leadership position . “
The WSC, however. also strongly supports the EC’s proposed sink-to-wake lifecycle approach for greenhouse gas intensity, as a comprehensive and globally accepted scientific approach. The WSC also sees the value of the compliance pooling offered by FuelEU between vessels, calling it “an innovative and practical way to encourage companies to invest in ever more efficient vessels due to the effect at l ‘fleet scale’.
Other points that the WSC highlights are the definition of the entity responsible for the FuelEU Maritime proposal which recognizes that ship owners and operators of ships share the responsibility for the implementation of maritime transport decarbonization measures. They write that truly effective actions require synergies between technology, vessel design and operation, and the proposed business definition urges all parties to work on reducing GHG intensity. It is also in line with the international nature of fleet operation, ownership and control, supporting EU priorities for IMO agreements and measures to reduce GHGs in maritime transport.
“The EU has a unique opportunity to strengthen, motivate and complement global policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in international shipping,” said Butler. “We are committed to working with the EU institutions to achieve the goals of the Green Deal through a good policy that will allow us to move as quickly as possible to zero emissions shipping.”
Organizations from the maritime and aviation communities are receiving feedback as the EU works to wrap up its comment period on fuel proposals and move the proposal forward for debate. Last week, the European Community shipowners’ associations submitted comments continuing his criticism of the proposals. They raised concerns about shortcomings in areas such as law enforcement and said the regulations created unnecessary burdens on the maritime community.
Other organizations have also made their voices heard in their criticism of the EU’s proposals. The EU is preparing to take the FuelEU debate forward as part of Fit for 55’s wider efforts to decarbonize across the EU.
Top image: Alan Jamieson / CC BY 2.0