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2020 Jan 29

GLOBAL: NEW REPORT CLAIMS LNG AS MARINE FUEL IS ‘WORSE THAN BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR THE CLIMATE’

A new report has claimed that ‘the most popular LNG ship engine, particularly for cruise ships, emits between 70% and 82% more life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the short-term compared to clean distillate fuels’.

The report, which was undertaken by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and commissioned by the environmental lobby group Stand.earth, aimed to ‘examine the lifecycle GHG emissions from marine fuels, including a previously poorly understood source of climate emissions from LNG-powered ships — the unintentional releases of the climate super-pollutant methane from ship engines, known as methane slip’.

The report authors claim that ‘using LNG could actually worsen the shipping industry’s climate impacts compared to marine gas oil (MGO) when considering the amount of heat these emissions will trap over a 20-year period’.

In a statement to Bunkerspot today, Kendra Ulrich, Senior Shipping Campaigner at Stand.earth, said: ‘This groundbreaking new analysis is a damning climate indictment of LNG as marine fuel. For a sector that is already one of the largest contributors of global greenhouse gas emissions, this report reveals that switching ships to LNG is worse than doing nothing. This should serve as an alarming wake-up call for the International Maritime Organization, which must act now to ensure it includes all greenhouse gas emissions in its emissions reduction strategy.’

Dr. Elizabeth Lindstad, Chief Scientist at SINTEF Ocean, Maritime Transport, added: ‘The report shows the need for adopting policies that can reduce the broader GHG emissions of shipping instead of CO2 only, including the well-to-tank emissions of ship fuels. If we fail to include all GHGs and focus only on CO2, we might end up with a large number of ships fulfilling all efficiency requirements, but where the GHG savings are on paper only.’

The ICCT report can be accessed at: https://www.stand.earth/publication/climate-implications-using-lng-marine-fuel-international-council-clean-transportation

This has not been a good week for the fuels that the shipping industry has been turning to in order to meet the IMO 2020 sulphur cap. As previously reported by Bunkerspot,  a paper submitted by Germany and Finland to the IMO’s Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) sub-committee indicated that the new very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) blends contain high aromatic compound levels, which can directly impact on black carbon (BC) emissions - and yesterday this prompted the Clean Arctic Alliance to not only renew its call for a ban on the use of fuel oil by ships in the Arctic but also call for a global rule on the use of VLSFO.

Source: www.bunkerspot.com; Ian Taylor

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