Partnership for Green Shipping to ensure environmental protection and a level playing field
14-12-2016 12:00

The Danish Shipowners' Association, the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark and the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs have concluded a partnership.

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​The Danish Shipowners' Association, the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark and the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs have concluded a partnership to strengthen cooperation and dialogue across Blue Denmark within the maritime environmental area.

The partnership is to represent Danish interests globally.

At the October session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO), the debate on international requirements for ships' environmental impact was speeded up. Especially the new SOx and NOx emission limits, which will enter into force within a few years, will be of major importance to the industry and the environment. But how the new global regulations are to be specifically implemented and enforced requires further debate and input from the individual countries.

A partnership between the Danish Shipowners' Association, the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark and the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs is to represent the Danish interests and present proposals to the IMO that contribute to maximizing the environmental advantages of stricter international requirements, while securing a level playing field for the industry.

The partnership agreement will be transposed into an action plan that contains, inter alia, initiatives aimed at the development of new technology and focusing on fuel suppliers. In addition, the action plan contains common efforts to be made by Denmark to convince the rest of the world about the advantages of homogeneous and effective implementation and enforcement of environmental regulations.

- Large parts of cross-border air pollution originate from shipping. Air pollution is harmful to the environment and human health all over the world and, therefore, reduced air pollution will result in huge environmental and health gains. This will be brought about through the introduction of common international regulations and securing effective enforcement, and these are some of the goals to be aimed for by the partnership at the global level, says Minister for Environment and Food Esben Lunde Larsen.

The first activity of the partnership is a conference that is being held today by the Danish Maritime Authority for a number of companies from especially Blue Denmark and that focuses on implementation and enforcement.

- Blue Denmark can benefit greatly from the new global limits because we in Denmark are frontrunners when it comes to, for example, green maritime technology. And this creates growth and jobs for the benefit of the entire Danish society. At the same time, it is important that the Danish maritime industries and the authorities cooperate closely to promote enforcement of the regulations if we are to ensure the best possible competitive conditions, says Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs Brian Mikkelsen.

Since 2015, stricter sulphur emission regulations have been a reality in the so-called SECAs that cover all Danish waters. But from 2020, the limit will increase by almost 90 per cent in the rest of the world, which means that ships must either use cleaner fuels or install equipment on board for cleaning the waste gas.

Furthermore, NOx emission control areas will be introduced in the North Sea and the Baltic in 2021, which means that, in the future, new ships are required to emit 75 per cent less NOx than previously.

Finally, other types of air pollution from ships, such as particle pollution, are frequently debated by international fora. It is easier to handle all these requirements and negotiations on the Danish part when the industry and the authorities have a fixed cooperation framework.

- The new environmental requirements are decisive for greener global shipping, but ahead of us is a large task ensuring that the provisions are met. This requires joined efforts by the authorities and the industry and, therefore, I am really pleased about the strengthened cooperation in the Partnership for Green Shipping, says Director General and CEO Anne H. Steffensen from the Danish Shipowners' Association.

The partnership is an extension of a previous partnership between the Danish Shipowners' Association and the Environmental Protection Agency, but is now launched in a new and strengthened version with participation by the Danish Maritime Authority.

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