Early on the morning of 23 March the European Parliament and the Council agreed on FuelMaritime EU– a new EU regulation ensuring that the greenhouse gas intensity of fuels used by the shipping sector will gradually decrease over time, by 2% in 2025 to as much as 80% by 2050. This measure increases the maritime transport sector’s contribution to reaching the EU-wide target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
FuelEU Maritime will set maximum limits on the yearly greenhouse gas intensity of the energy used by a ship, with targets will becoming increasingly ambitious over time to stimulate and reflect the expected developments in technology and the increased production of renewable and low-carbon fuels. The targets cover not only CO2, but also methane and nitrous oxide emissions over the full lifecycle of the fuels.
Additionally there is an additional zero-emission requirement at berth, mandating the use of on-shore power supply (OPS) or alternative zero-emission technologies in ports by passenger ships and containerships, with a view to mitigating air pollution emissions in ports.
The Regulation takes a goal-based and technology-neutral approach, allowing for innovation and the development of new fuel technologies to meet future needs, and offering operators the freedom to decide which to use based on ship-specific or operation-specific profiles. The Regulation also provides for a voluntary pooling mechanism under which ships will be allowed to pool their compliance balance with one or more other ships, thereby making it the pool as a whole that has to meet the greenhouse gas intensity limits on average.
The political agreement must now be formally adopted, and once this is completed by the European Parliament and the Council, the new rules will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force 20 days after publication.