Bridging islands to the shore is a long-standing maritime practice, as is the expansion of maritime connectivity through the introduction of new technology and ship designs. While the shipping industry keeps the world economy running, at the same time it is also a major source of greenhouse gas and other pollutants in the world.
Global warming is a direct result of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Carbon dioxide is the primary GHG emitted by ships (CO2).
The IMO had set a goal of halving shipping emissions by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, but at MEPC 76, it failed to identify an interim objective.
While a timeframe for long-term policies addressing fossil fuel consumption was agreed upon at MEPC 76, the general conclusion is that the short-term actions do not advance the industry towards net-zero substantially. Governments, led by the EU, are expected to implement laws requiring the shipping industry to reduce emissions, either through mandates or carbon taxes, as a result of this perception.
An international treaty (MARPOL Annex VI) has been revised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to mandate more data reporting and minor emission reductions through two separate procedures.
They apply to all international cargo and cruise ships over a certain gross tonnage that are registered in a treaty-signatory country and that trade internationally. To begin on November 1, 2022, and to be reviewed in 2026, they will be in effect.
Reduced carbon intensity (CI) is the first step in the implementation of this plan. As a result, each ship's carbon intensity (CII)
must be calculated annually and a plan devised to reduce CI in order to meet annual ship-specific targets must be devised by shipowners.
From 2019 to 2026, this CI measure is estimated to result in a fleet-wide reduction of around 11% in compliant ships. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) claims this aligns with its 2018 first GHG strategy, which aims for a 40 percent decrease in carbon intensity between 2008 and 2030 and a 50 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2040.
A second new metric, Energy Efficiency Operational Indicators
(EEOI), presents a paradigm for determining a ship's energy efficiency while in operation. The scope of EEOI is broader than that of the current guideline on new ship energy efficiency because it also focuses on technology improvements for existing ships.