Port of Rotterdam urges IMO to improve CO2 cuts plan for shipping


The Port of Rotterdam Authority has urged the European parliament to pressure International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to create an improved plan that helps reduce carbon emissions from the global shipping industry.

According to the port authority, the existing IMO plans that feature measures to check CO2 emissions could be expected by 2023 at the earliest.

Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Allard Castelein said: “Far too late. The plans are not challenging enough.

"We are prepared to make a supportive contribution to the implementation of measures."

“We are prepared to make a supportive contribution to the implementation of measures, for example through the Environmental Ship Index or by separate initiation of an initiative aimed specifically at greenhouse gases.”

The European Parliament’s Environmental Commission is set to revise its current EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) policy, which seeks to fight climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively.

The policy, which also aims to minimise CO2 emissions by pricing them and enabling the number of permits to reduce each year, has been followed by various European sectors, but not shipping.

Port of Rotterdam supported the inclusion of shipping in the EU ETS by 2023, if the measures which have then been taken by the sector are not sufficient to reduce CO2.

The port authority further noted that concrete plans to cut CO2 from the shipping sector can be started from 2018 by implementing short-term and medium-term measures.  

In addition, the investment should be made in digitisation, cleaner and low-CO2 fuels, as well as multimodal hinterland connections, energy efficiency improvements and others to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping.

Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe in terms of annual throughput, currently handling around 30,000 seagoing vessels and 110,000 inland vessels every year.


Image: First fuel bunkering of a seaship at Port of Rotterdam. Photo: courtesy of Ries van Wendel de Joode.