Port of Rotterdam Aims for 80% CO2 Reduction

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Port Authority Rotterdam and Friends of the Earth Netherlands want the maritime shipping industry to drastically reduce its CO2 emissions: 30% by 2020 and closer to 80% by 2050, compared to 1990. Friends of the Earth Netherlands and the Port Authority are making this appeal in the run-up to the international environment conference that is to be held in December in Copenhagen.

An 80% reduction by 2050 is necessary, according to scientists, if global warming is to be restricted to 2º, the internationally accepted upper limit. Transport by water is more energy efficient than by land or air. In that sense, it is sustainable. Also, according to expectations, more and more goods will be transported by water in the coming decades. Hence, there is every reason to aim for a powerful reduction in CO2 in shipping.

The Port Authority and Friends of the Earth Netherlands are calling on the Dutch government to shoulder its responsibilities in the run-up to the climate summit in Copenhagen. After all, the Netherlands has a great maritime tradition. The two organisations are asking the government to make every effort to lay down the percentages referred to in a new international climate treaty. Many port authorities, including the Port of Rotterdam Authority, want to cooperate in the introduction of international agreements made on CO2 reduction. This could involve making CO2 reduction part of the Environmental Ship Index (ESI). This index is currently being developed in an international context to encourage the use of clean ships. This can be done, for example, by introducing price incentives into the port dues which ships pay when they visit ports. The Port of Rotterdam Authority plans to use this ESI to encourage shipowners to make their fleets more sustainable and to use cleaner fuels.

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