Green and powerful shipping
The shipping industry is a highly regulated one, possibly the most regulated one in the world. Said regulations also govern the protection of the marine environment. Over the past decades numerous treaties, conventions, laws and rules and regulations with reference to the environment have been drawn up and become effective. This has resulted in an impressive reduction of the adverse effects on many aspects of the (marine) environment. In recent years, the emphasis has shifted to emission to air of substances like nitrogen (NOx), sulphur (SOx), fine dust particulate matter (PM) and - of course - carbon dioxide (CO2).
The Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR) and its membership are making every effort to achieve further significant improvements to the shipping industry’s environmental performance. Currently, around 90% of all goods transport is carried out at least part of the way by sea. Medium- long and long term predictions indicate that world trade - and therefore world shipping - will grow, requiring ambitious environmental measures. The challenge lies in finding a way to combine environmentally responsible shipping with an economically sound and strong industry in the Netherlands, within Europe and worldwide.
There is an appreciable amount of global consensus on limiting the emission of greenhouse gases. Despite the fact that the Copenhagen climate conference of December 2009 failed to reach an agreement on compulsory reductions, the intention of drastically reducing carbon emissions remains unchanged.
The KVNR has expressed its ideas on environmentally responsible shipping and economically sound management in the following vision:
The shipping industry in the Netherlands: green and powerful shipping
As an accompaniment to its vision, the KVNR has formulated a number of ambitious objectives:
- In 2050 a zero emission ship will be a reality;
- From 2020 the shipping industry’s growth will be carbon neutral;
- In 2050 carbon reductions of 50% compared to 2020 will have been achieved.
This vision paper contains information on how the KVNR is working towards the realisation of these objectives. Individually, shipowners are already taking their responsibility with a large number of concrete measures. However, shipowners are also dependent on other parties within the maritime cluster and the logistic chain as a whole. Therefore, the KVNR will intensify the existing relationships and enter into new ones whenever possible.
Legislation supporting environmental policies should be globally agreed insofar as it refers to the shipping industry. Any disturbance to the level playing field will, after all, result in ships being re- registered elsewhere and/or a modal shift from sea to road and will not lead to optimal environmental effects. In all this, it is vital that we take into account the specific nature of the Dutch fleet, with its relatively small ships and its strong presence in specific industry segments as well as short sea shipping.
I want to commend the efforts that have already been made by Dutch shipowners and those other sections of the maritime cluster and the logistic chain. In addition there are the agreements with the Dutch government, for the purpose of the Declaration of Intent aimed at saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime transport sector that are currently being finalised.
Taking all these aspects into consideration I am fully confident that the future of the shipping industry in the Netherlands will be both green and powerful.
A lot has been achieved
More improvements to reduce the carbon footprint