“Speed optimization and speed reduction” are included in the set of candidate short-term measures under discussion at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), in the quest to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. However, there is much confusion on what either speed optimization or speed reduction may mean, and some stakeholders have proposed mandatory speed limits as a measure to achieve GHG emissions reduction. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light into this debate, and specifically examine whether reducing speed by imposing a speed limit is better than doing the same by imposing a bunker levy. To that effect, the two options are compared. The main result of the paper is that the speed limit option exhibits a number of deficiencies as an instrument to reduce GHG emissions, at least vis-à-vis the bunker levy option.
The purpose of this chapter is to present some basics as regards the energy efficiency of ships, including related regulatory activity at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and elsewhere. To that effect, the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) is first presented, followed by a discussion of Market Based Measures (MBMs) and the recent Initial IMO Strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. The discussion includes commentary on possible pitfalls in the policy approach being followed.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specialized United Nations (UN) agency regulating maritime transport. One of the very hot topics currently on the IMO agenda is decarbonization. In that regard, the IMO decided in 2018 to achieve by 2050 a reduction of at least 50% in maritime green house gas (GHG) emissions vis-à-vis 2008 levels. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the possible role of Market Based Measures (MBMs) so as to achieve the above target. To that effect, a brief discussion of MBMs at the IMO and the EU is presented, and a possible way forward is proposed, focusing on a bunker levy.
The regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping is becoming a matter of increasing concern. Two issues arise in particular. The first issue concerns the elaboration of rules on this subject. In this regard, Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), amended in 2011, constitutes a key instrument because it was the first legally binding climate change instrument since the Kyoto Protocol. The second issue relates to effective compliance with relevant rules. While the flag State has the primary responsibility to implement relevant rules concerning the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, the flag State responsibility alone is inadequate to secure effective compliance with relevant rules. Thus, there is a need to examine the question whether and to what extent coastal and port States can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vessels in international law. This article seeks to address these two issues. The article concludes that while port States can perform a valuable role in effectuating global rules provided in MARPOL Annex VI, port State control encounters several challenges. Thus, securing compliance with relevant rules should be an important issue in the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.
Policy emphasis in ship design must be shifted away from global and idealized towards regional based and realistic vessel operating conditions. The present approach to reducing shipping emissions through technical standards tends to neglect how damages and abatement opportunities vary according to location and operational conditions. Since environmental policy originates in damages relating to ecosystems and jurisdictions, a three-layered approach to vessel emissions is intuitive and practical. Here, we suggest associating damages and policies with ports, coastal areas possibly defined as Emission Control Areas (ECA) as in the North Sea and the Baltic, and open seas globally. This approach offers important practical opportunities: in ports, clean fuels or even electrification is possible; in ECAs, cleaner fuels and penalties for damaging fuels are important, but so is vessel handling, such as speeds and utilization. Globally we argue that it may be desirable to allow burning very dirty fuels at high seas, due to the cost advantages, the climate cooling benefits, and the limited ecosystem impacts. We quantify the benefits and cost savings from reforming current IMO and other approaches towards environmental management with a three-layered approach, and argue it is feasible and worth considering.