Speech by Mark Harbers, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Shaping the Future of Shipping: Delivering a Net-Zero World – Ministerial/Industry Roundtable, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) & UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI) COP28
‘The focus of the Netherlands is on facilitating and encouraging the maritime industry to develop a common emissions reduction pathway. After all, healthy business cases are needed to keep the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 afloat!
I applaud innovative technologies and bold pilot programmes, like fully electric shipping on the Rhine, which is proving a success. Projects that can be scaled up and applied on longer routes.’
Said Minister Harbers on 9th December 2023 at the COP28 in Dubai.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me start by thanking His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei for the invitation and for hosting this side event, together with ICS.
You’ve provided a great opportunity for shipping leaders to discuss and share their views on shaping the future of shipping.
International shipping is the backbone of the global economy. Ninety per cent of all the goods we buy are transported by ship. But shipping also accounts for nearly three per cent of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions – especially large container ships, bulk carriers and tankers.
So, working on sustainable shipping is a big step towards achieving the goals we agreed in Paris.
The Netherlands welcomes and supports the sustainable shipping ambitions set out in the IMO Strategy.
The only way to achieve our goals is to work together on a transition that is inclusive, just and equitable.
Our aim for now is to adhere to strict timelines for agreeing and adopting measures that reflect the urgency of the task ahead. We also want to minimise any unintended negative effects of these measures.
The EU sees a global fuel standard and a shipping emissions levy as the two pillars of this transition:
If properly designed, a global fuel standard will enable shipping to become net-zero by 2050.
A global levy will help meet the 2030 reduction targets by acting as an incentive for more energy-efficient shipping.
To realize the energy transition with a growing global demand for clean energy, the huge potential for the production of clean energy in the southern hemisphere will play an important role.
It will reward parties that take the lead, stimulate early investment and ensure that no country is left behind in the transition.
From 2024, the EU’s Emissions Trading System will be extended to include large ships. There is also the FuelEU maritime initiative, with provisions on reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of fuels, starting with an initial target in 2025.
The focus of the Netherlands is on facilitating and encouraging the maritime industry to develop a common emissions reduction pathway. After all, healthy business cases are needed to keep the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 afloat!
I applaud innovative technologies and bold pilot programmes, like fully electric shipping on the Rhine, which is proving a success. Projects that can be scaled up and applied on longer routes.
There are still a lot of challenges to overcome. But the real transition to sustainable shipping starts with action.
There is a way, though, to make this difficult task a bit easier. Green corridors can get things moving. For this we need all parties in the maritime industry to work together, explore together and make agreements.
Ladies and gentlemen,
At COP26 in Glasgow we signed the Clydebank Declaration for green shipping corridors – zero-emission maritime routes between two or more ports. Last year, at COP27, the Netherlands and the UK pledged their support for the establishment of green shipping corridors between our two countries by facilitating the necessary investments, both at sea and in ports.
We recognise that the first steps of the transition are the hardest. That’s why the Dutch government and maritime industry initiated the Maritime Masterplan. Together we’re aiming to have 30 zero-emission ships in operation by 2030.
When it comes decarbonisation, close cooperation is key.
So the Dutch government is supporting this masterplan with 210 million euros for innovative projects.
With its roadmap for a maritime fuel transition, the Dutch government is facilitating the exchange of knowledge on alternative maritime fuels. The transition involves fuel suppliers and stakeholders from the maritime manufacturing industry, ship owners and knowledge institutions.
The list of potential maritime fuels is long, so where do we start? Well, there are a few potential solutions that all stakeholders agree on.
Like drop-in fuels that can be mixed in with existing fuels. Blends can be made with biodiesel or bio-fuel oil. Or with bio-methanol.
At the same time we need to start the transition towards scalable net-zero emission fuels. And for that we’ll need new engines and fuel systems: in the future, ammonia for longer distances and hydrogen for shorter distances.
The production of synthetic fuels will require a growing supply of renewable hydrogen.
Working together to identify the best transition routes will give us a shared perspective. Together we can build a rich knowledge base that will help us take significant action in the years ahead.
And that is what this roundtable is about.
Let me give you a few examples from the Netherlands:
- The Port of Rotterdam and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore are collaborating closely on the creation of a green and digital shipping corridor.
- To get the first sustainable vessels sailing on the route by 2027, they’re bringing together stakeholders from across the industry.
- The ports of Rotterdam and Gothenburg are also working together on a green corridor for sustainable shipping.
- Rotterdam and Pecém in Brazil are joining forces to accelerate sustainable hydrogen production.
- There’s also cooperation between the cities of Rotterdam and Oslo on a new green corridor, with logistics company Samskip also involved.
- The Port of Amsterdam and international energy partners are exploring scope for a green hydrogen export corridor between the Middle East (Saudi Arabia) and Amsterdam.
To conclude, we have new coalitions creating new opportunities in the maritime industry. But it’s not just about futureproof, sustainable shipping; it’s also about new business opportunities. Tapping into new markets and preparing for the future.
We look forward to working with you on all these topics. What we need is clear and effective regulation to help us fulfil the IMO greenhouse gas strategy and kick-start a just and equitable transition. And we need green corridors to accelerate the development of a zero-emission shipping industry.