ICS Dismisses Environmental Group's "Fanciful" Claims


Published Apr 21, 2015 4:12 PM by The Maritime Executive

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has dismissed the recent claim by the European environmental lobby groups Seas at Risk and Transport and Environment (T&E) that modern ships are less CO2 efficient than those built over 20 years ago as “fanciful.”

T&E bases its claims on a report it commissioned from the respected consultancy CE Delft, but it has used the findings very selectively, says ICS in a statement. Moreover, the actual data from which the report’s analysis is derived finishes before the worldwide implementation of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). This came into force in 2013 as part of the IMO mandatory package of CO2 reduction measures (amendments to MARPOL Annex VI).

The T&E statement appears to confuse overall design efficiency with an approximate estimate of fuel efficiency based on generic data. Modern ships are designed for optimal efficiency which requires far less fuel to be consumed than previously. Largely as a result of fuel efficient operations, the latest IMO Green House Gas Study, published in 2014, shows that international shipping reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 10 percent between 2007 and 2012, at a time when demand for maritime transport continued to increase.

“It is not helpful for T&E to twist the results of the CE Delft study to imply that the IMO EEDI, developed by the combined technical expertise of all the world’s maritime nations, is somehow inadequate,” states ICS. Modern ships, built in line with the EEDI targets which came into effect in January 2015, are required to be designed to be at least 10 percent more efficient (compared to the agreed IMO reference line), while ships built after 2030 will be 30 percent more efficient.

Combined with continuously improving operational fuel efficiency measures, supported by the mandatory use of Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans and new technology, the actual CO2 reductions achieved will be even greater. This is something on which the shipping industry and its regulator, IMO, should be congratulated rather than criticised.

A summary of T&E claims, and the full T&E report, are available here.