Why emissions regulations and targets matter

We know that the maritime industry is working towards the IMO’s goal of dramatically reducing CO2  emissions by 2030 and 2050, by why does this matter? RightShip’s Head of Sustainability and Environment, Kris Fumberger, explains why now is the time to act. 

Reducing carbon intensity by at least 40% by 2030 and by 70% by 2050, compared to the 2008 baseline may seem like an ambitious goal, but this is more than an IMO target, our industry is responsible for a significant contribution to the world’s carbon emissions.  

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report into the impact of climate change shone a spotlight on the level of urgency. According to the report, we need to get to net zero emissions by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees if we are to mitigate the worst-case impact of climate change. 

Change is inevitable   

Currently, the IMO’s International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) sets the regulatory framework for marine pollution from international shipping. In addition, the IMO also oversees The Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP). The EEDI is now used to set standards for all new ship builds, with the objective of reducing CO2 emissions in line with targets. 

RightShip also acknowledges the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), while also looking at how we can best utilise it into the future with the view to have an updated strategy in the second quarter of 2021. 

Overall, we are pleased to see the IMO move so swiftly to introduce the regulation, however there are still opportunities to improve. Considerations such as how speed is calculated, and also the perceived bias towards Engine Power Limitation (EPL) for emissions reductions are items which we believe could be enhanced.  

In the short-term, as we work initially towards 2030 goals, we see three key areas of focus:   

  • Carbon intensity of vessels to decline through use of the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) of new ships  
  • Carbon intensity of international shipping to decline through reduced CO2 emissions in transportation. This includes staggered objectives of at least 40 per cent by 2030, and an ambition of 70 per cent by 2050, compared to 2008  
  • GHG emissions to reach a peak and then decline as soon as possible. Ie: we should not continue to see emissions rising. We need to see a reduction in line with Paris Agreement temperature reduction goals  

How do we get there? 

Meeting industry targets is only achievable if you have a plan in place to reduce your emissions over time. We have seen a rise in customers engaging with our Carbon Accounting tool that provides feasible steps to reduce impact over time and increase operational efficiency in the process.  

Not only do we help customers to establish their present position, but we also work through steps required for you to meet corporate social responsibility and broader IMO targets. 

Real-time performance tracking, emissions by cargo type, quarterly emissions results and year-on-year achievements enable you to apply reductions strategies incrementally. 


Learn more about RightShip’s Carbon Accounting tool today