Danish Shipping Calls for Faster Ramp-Up for FuelEU Maritime

Boxships at Rotterdam
File image

Published Dec 6, 2022 11:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

The EU Parliament, Council and Commission have reached a tentative deal to include shipping in Europe's Emissions Trading System (ETS), which will require shipowners to buy carbon credits to cover their emissions beginning in 2024. With this regulation finally put to rest, stakeholders' attention has turned to FuelEU Maritime, a series of proposed green fuel requirements which would gradually phase out fossil bunkers in the EU in future decades.

The European Commission's proposal for FuelEU Maritime would target a GHG reduction of 13 percent by 2035 and 75 percent by 2050. The EU Parliament's numbers are slightly more ambitious: a reduction of 2 percent by 2025, 20 percent by 2035 and 80 percent by 2050. According to the EU Parliament rapporteur on sustainable maritime fuels Jörgen Warborn, this is "by far the world’s most ambitious pathway to maritime decarbonization."

However, it is not quite ambitious enough for Europe's ocean carriers. Danish Shipping and the World Shipping Council - both representing liner interests - have joined the clean shipping NGO Transport & Environment to call for a more aggressive rate of reduction. 

"With the technologies available and captains of industry at sea and on shore ready to increase the level of ambition, legislators should seize the opportunity to speed up the green transition in future legislation," the partners wrote in an open letter. 

The group also called on EU lawmakers to incorporate measures to drive the uptake of e-fuels, including e-methanol, Maersk's favored choice for a green bunker fuel. "Such a mechanism will send a clear demand signal for production facilities to expand and upscale availability of e-fuels," they wrote. 

The group also argued against a proposed exemption for small companies of three or fewer vessels, which would put global-scale shipowners at a potential disadvantage in EU markets.