of 100 World’s largest ports in terms of total cargo volume handled, 28 of them
offer incentives for environmentally-friendly ships, a new report released by
the International Transport Forum (ITF) shows.
gas emissions from shipping currently represent around 2.6% of total global
emissions. Without reduction measures, this share could more than triple by
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) last week set a target of
reducing shipping CO2 emissions by “at least” 50% by 2050 compared to 2008
levels. To achieve this, stringent measures now need to be put into place,
according to the report.
of these measures focus on ship design and operations. However, ports also play
an important role in reducing the global carbon footprint of maritime shipping,
the report says.
The report lists ports that offer incentives:
• Some US ports offer reductions for ships reducing
speed when approaching the port.
• The Panama Canal Authority provides priority slot allocation to greener
• Spain includes environmental incentives in the tender and license criteria
for the towage services provided in ports.
• Shanghai has an emission-trading scheme that includes ports and domestic
However, green incentives typically apply to than 5%
of the ships calling at a port with an incentive scheme. Only five ports use
CO2 emissions a substantial criterion for incentives.
Thus any incentives that ship-owners currently have to order more efficient
ships with lower emissions can only to a very small extent be a result of
The report thus recommends to:
• acknowledge the important role of ports in
mitigating shipping emissions
• expand port-based incentives for low-emission ships;
• Link port-based incentives to actual greenhouse gas emissions; and
• move to a more harmonised application of green port fees.
“Ports clearly play a hugely important role in helping the shipping sector to
manage the transition to clean shipping”, said Olaf Merk, ports and shipping
expert at ITF. “Port-based incentives for greenhouse emission mitigation could
provide an important supporting role.”
work for the report was carried out with support from the Environmental Defense