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Shipping Partnership In Biofuels Commitment


Among all the various issues being discussed at COP26, transport is a prominent one. However, while pledges to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles from the roads in favour of electric cars may be welcome, that fails to touch the issue of international shipping, which is mostly powered by fossil fuels.

For that reason, it will come as a welcome piece of news that Goodshipping, a sustainable cargo shipping initiative, has signed a partnership with 18 companies to use marine biofuel on journeys between Rotterdam and Hull. This is expected to save 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. Bunkerspot reports.

The industry will require significant amounts of biofuels to be made in plants across Europe and also significant tank storage capacity, particularly at ports to enable ships to fill up before voyages.

Such a move may be widely applauded, as shipping is a sector that has been identified both as a major source of carbon emissions - three per cent of the current global total and on course to be 17 per cent by 2050.

This figure was noted by Peter van Duyn of Deakin University in Australia, who recognised that there has been some progress in this area at COP26, with 14 nations signing up to making shipping net zero by 2050, but there are some key problems in achieving those goals.

The kind of fuel used in shipping is one of those problems, which the use of more biofuel may help with. However, another key problem is that while many emissions, such as those from traffic, industry or power stations, can be linked to geographical areas, those emanating from international waters or airspace can not.

Consequently, it can be very hard for countries to agree to include shipping in their emissions totals. This is partly because it will affect some countries more than others - landlocked nations and those geographically close to their main markets will be affected less - but also because some countries could be penalised for the emissions generated by successful export drives.

For that reason, the Goodshipping development may be widely welcomed, as the onus may be on companies, not countries, to make the necessary change.


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