RightShip, a digital maritime platform focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, has partnered with the Port of London Authority (PLA) to help the port achieve its net zero emission’s goal.
Under the partnership, RightShip will provide the PLA with its Maritime Emissions Portal (MEP), a tool that can measure and track emissions from vessels operating within the port boundary. The MEP uses an energy-based modelling approach to calculate emissions, and can measure up to 16 different emissions against targets specified by the port authority.
The partnership will also provide RightShip with live operational data from the PLA, to help improve the accuracy and functionality of the tool in the future.
“As the largest port in the UK, we have a responsibility to lead the way on the sustainability transition,” said Robin Mortimer, chief executive of the PLA. “This partnership will provide us with valuable data and insights to effectively measure emissions and develop targeted strategies to not only reduce the environmental impact on the river and estuary, but also improve the air quality and health of local communities.”
The announcement comes at a time when the maritime industry is under increasing pressure to reduce its emissions. In July 2023, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) adopted a new strategy that sets a net zero emissions target for ships by or around 2050, a major increase in ambition from the previous target of 50% emissions reduction by 2050.
The news was met with mixed reactions, with some saying the ambition was “far short of what is needed” and calling it “terribly weak, but better than nothing”.
“The current moment is a critical one for maritime decarbonisation,” said Andrew Roberts, executive director, EMEA at RightShip. “Our Maritime Emissions Portal is a crucial tool for ports and terminals to measure and reduce their emissions while improving air quality in their ports for the benefit of local communities. The Port of London Authority is setting the standard in its ambitions to become a thriving net zero beacon, and we’re committed to helping them get there.”
The international shipping industry is a major contributor to global warming, accounting for 2-3% of global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2022. Emissions from the sector grew by 5% in 2022, continuing the rebound from the sharp decline in 2020. This means that emissions are now back to 2017–2018 levels.
In 2021, the UK Government is committed to decarbonise the shipping industry as part of its sixth carbon budget, which starts in 2033. The government launched a number of packages and initiatives to meet this target through improved efficiency and the use of low-carbon alternatives to heavy fuel oil and marine diesel.
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