Emission Free Shipping Association’s Roadmap 2050, a way towards a Greenhouse Gas free shipping industry
6th of June 2019. Emission Free Shipping Association is taking shape and our supporters base is growing. But it is still a chicken and egg situation for us as a start-up association. First we want to have our network in place of companies and stakeholders from all around the world, representing the full maritime chain and then we want to make our vision and strategy more concrete. Yet every time we speak to new supporters and possible supporters, they ask us what we really mean by our approach. What kind of incentives are we thinking of and how can these be implemented.
That was the moment we said to each other, lets work on our approach and create a clear example of what our approach could look like. The first step was the creation of a general framework on which we could build our more specific measure. This was, after speaking to more than 60 companies, not so difficult. A clear picture emerged in front of us about what was really the problem for the shipping sector to move forward: companies are willing to move, but are afraid for their existence when they have to invest in existing tonnage or have to invest in far too expensive new tonnage. This is the balance between existing and new ships. Our first two pillars of our approach: 1. Make sure that shipowners do not lose value on their existing ships and that they can live the full expected life span for these ships so they can earn back their investments. 2: make sure that there is a competitive place for new sustainable tonnage when they hit the market.
But this is not all. There is still one important element for shipowners in this challenging market. Which technology should they bet on when they are going to order their future ships with renewable propulsion systems. This is the uncertainty of what will be the dominant solution. You do not want to be the ship owner who has invested in hydrogen propulsion when finally methanol becomes the dominant solution. This will make the value of your assets drop. It is all about risk management and when the risks are high, the investments are going to be low.
We believe the way to solve this problem is all about leadership. And it is the industries role to pick up this leadership. A lot of R&D is going on around the world. Yet in the meantime industry finds it hard to organise itself and to rank all the projects on its benefits and steer R&D into the most effective solutions. By taking leadership the industry itself can lower the investment risks and focus R&D budgets towards strong and quick to realise solutions. This is our 3rd pillar: bring focus in the R&D projects to create dominant solutions by organising industry leadership.
To sum up, our general framework consists of a three pillar approach:
- Existing ships. Make sure that they can keep their value and serve their full economical life what they were built for
- New to-be-build-ships. Make sure that they can be operated in a competitive manner compared to the already existing fleet
- R&D. Bring focus in the R&D programmes world wide so that dominant solutions can emerge soon and investors are able to focus their investments on new-to-be-build-ships and infrastructure for ports.
This all sounds pretty good. However we now need to work towards more concrete, detailed measures which will follow the three pillar approach. As EFSA we have worked on detailed measures and are going to check them with the EFSA supporters and other stakeholders in the industry worldwide. This will result in our strategy document: Roadmap 2050, a way towards a GHG free shipping industry. The more parties we can consult the better the basis of this document will be. We will reach out to as many companies as possible, but you can also contact us to support our work and help us to write the roadmap. The basis is cooperation. We need all parties on board to make the change towards a greenhouse gas free shipping industry before 2050.
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