Shipping industry leading decarbonisation efforts, but more needs to be done


The shipping industry is a leader in the campaign for achieving a zero-carbon future, however more needs to be done, in order to truly meet the targets for making ships and ports more environmentally-friendly. That was the opinion of Greek ship owners and international experts.

As George Pateras, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, stated, the sector is the most environmentally friendly form of transport. He explained that this is because the actor are self regulated, becoming the guiding force for other industries to follow.

He added, that shipping is the only industry to apply energy efficiency measures, which except from legally binding, are also accepted and applied worldwide.

Nevertheless, Greek ship owners are worried that a disproportionate responsibility is still placed upon on ship owners in comparison to charterers. For this reason, they called for unified efforts to achieve decarbonisation, ahead of the 2020 deadline.

What is more, the Union of Greek Ship owners had welcomed the progress made by MEPC 74 regarding the implementation of the new 0.5% sulphur limit on marine fuels, and urged for more cooperation among all sides.

As for ports, Xinhua news agency reports that they are ramping up their efforts to limit their environmental footprint, and support the decarbonisation of the shipping industry. These attempts are well underway, with European ports driving them.

Speaking about ports’ efforts, Antonis Michael, the Technical Director of the world ports sustainability program, stated that in the European level, there are well established reporting mechanisms to track progress. On the other hand, in other parts of the world, there are not the same initiatives. For this reason, the program is trying to promote these initiatives with concrete ways.

The silver lining, however, is that more and more ports are beginning to use clean sources of energy, wind, solar, as well testing hydro turbines and wave energy. What is more, a lot of ports also give emphasis on improving the energy efficiency of their operation, of the lighting of their piers and port activities in general.