The 23rd session of the UN’s Climate Change Conference, ‘COP 23,’ is currently taking place in Bonn, Germany from November 6 – 17, bringing together thousands of international delegates and industry leaders to advance the aims and ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement from COP 21, negotiated in December 2015.
Under the aegis of the main conference, the ‘Ambition 1.5°C: Global Shipping’s Action Plan’ summit took place on November 13. Initiated by Gavin Allwright, Secretary of the International Windship Association (IWSA), and co-organized and sponsored by MAN Diesel & Turbo, the summit’s aim was to debate a shipping-industry-led agenda – with the participation of invited, influential industry-representatives and UNFCCC delegates – to exploit the opportunities presented by decarbonisation and create an action plan for the shipping industry.
Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo, commented on events in Bonn and said: “The hopes and demands of the shipping industry for a strengthened mandate of the IMO were not fulfilled in Paris; Bonn offers us a new opportunity to accelerate what MAN Diesel & Turbo calls the ‘Maritime Energy Transition’, the move to cleaner technology within our industry. Ultimately, uniform environmental standards must be established at international level – a strong IMO as an international regulator is therefore essential.”
Dr Gunnar Stiesch – Senior Vice President, MAN Diesel & Turbo and Head of Engineering Engines – was a panelist and held a presentation at Ambition 1.5°C that hosted a workshop on such topics as the future technology, new business models and regulatory frameworks that will enable the shipping industry to reach global climate goals.
Stiesch said: “MAN Diesel & Turbo wants to expand the debate on how to reach COP 21’s targets. We want to engage with all stakeholders – whether the general public, NGOs, ship owners or classification societies – to see what solutions are already in place or required. Consequently, I am heartened by what I have heard today in Bonn where we have made significant progress, and am confident that our efforts here will ultimately bear fruit.
Stemming from the summit’s proceedings, a briefing document will be delivered to UNFCCC delegates, providing a summary of the main challenges and opportunities offered by the decarbonisation of the shipping industry, the ambitious approaches agreed, and a copy of a draft action.
The Paris Climate Agreement defined the framework for global CO2-reduction and set the goal of limiting global warming to a 1.5°C temperature rise. Ultimately, all branches of industry and transport, etc. must be climate-neutral (decarbonised) by 2050.
COP 23 is working on filling in the details and rules of engagement for the agreement, which will be finally adopted next year in Poland (COP 24).
Despite shipping being recognised as the most efficient mode of transport, the international shipping sector has a special responsibility because of its projected CO2 growth rates of 50-250% by 2050, depending on future economic growth (IMO GHG Study from 2014). Crucially, thus far, shipping has not determined CO2-reduction regulations.
The IMO is the body responsible for governing international shipping. IMO member states began the development of a road map in 2017 to reduce CO2 emissions in line with the ambitious spirit of the Paris Agreement. The IMO intends to agree an initial strategy for this road map in 2018 and to have final measures in place by 2023.
The Maritime Energy Transition
The term ‘Maritime Energy Transition’ stems from the German expression ‘Energiewende’ and encapsulates MAN Diesel & Turbo’s call to action to reduce emissions and establish natural gas as the fuel of choice in global shipping. It promotes a global ‘turn to gas’, driven by the IMO, and a common approach by the shipping industry and politics to invest in infrastructure development and retrofits.
Launched in 2016 after COP 21, the initiative has since found broad support within the shipping industry and German politics.
The Maritime Energy Transition is also an umbrella covering all MAN Diesel & Turbo activities in regard to supporting a climate-neutral shipping industry, including:
The retrofitting of the ‘Wes Amelie’ feeder containership’s MAN 51/60DF engine to dual-fuel gas operation – the first such conversion of its type in the world
Stemming from the success of the ‘Wes Amelie’ project, and to encourage more shipowners to follow this example, the company pledged discounts for 10 such LNG-retrofits at the international Our Oceans 2017 conference in Malta
Based on the success of the Wes Amelie project, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure recently published a public state-aid programme for new LNG-vessels and retrofits for Euro 30m a year until 2021
The development of MAN Diesel & Turbo’s two-stroke ME-GI/ME-LGI engine portfolio to enable dual-fuel operation on, primarily, natural gas but also on low-carbon gaseous and liquid fuels such as LNG (methane), LPG, ethane, methanol and ethanol
The development of synthetic fuels created with renewable energy (i.e., power to gas), another technology with great CO2-reduction potential. Here, MAN Diesel & Turbo is closely collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy to create a research program.