Ports worldwide are at the crossroads of land-based and maritime industries and are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme weather conditions. That is why the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) actively supports the development of a comprehensive global strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions both from land-based and maritime sources, in line with the Paris climate goals. Where emissions from shipping are concerned, IAPH will use its consultative status within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to actively participate in the upcoming session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) where work will start on an initial strategy for the reduction of GHG emissions from ships.
IAPH co-sponsored a submission of Germany and other parties for the MEPC session. This submission calls for a quantified global emissions pathway for shipping to set the level of ambition of the initial IMO strategy, which is to be decided in 2018. The objective is that emissions should start declining as soon as possible and reduce towards zero in the second half of the century, in line with the Paris climate goals.
“Ports are ready to facilitate the pathway to zero emission shipping ”, said Peter Mollema, IAPH Vice-President Europe , “This can be done in various ways, for instance through the facilitation of infrastructure for the supply of alternative fuels, optimising the effectiveness of port incentive schemes, increasing operational efficiency of ports to minimise ship’s idle time and the provision of climate-proof infrastructure. What is important is that ports have the flexibility to use different tools and instruments according to the type of infrastructure and traffic they manage.”
IAPH took leadership on climate change early in the process with the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI) that was set up in 2008. The WPCI established a number of concrete tools, including the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) that ports can use to identify and reward clean ships. At its annual conference held in Bali last month, IAPH
decided to integrate the WPCI in a wider World Ports Sustainability Programme that will extend the scope from climate action to a full range of sustainability port development challenges the industry is facing. The new programme will engage regional port associations and international port-related organisations. It will be
launched officially in Antwerp, during a two-day conference to be held 22-23 March next year.