Routes-based action plan methodology to accelerate the uptake of clean marine fuels
A collaboration between Singapore, Norway and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), NextGEN Connect-Green Voyage2050 Project, identified a key role for regional hubs to help connect large demand clusters and remote locations, with regional fuel supply sources, in order to enable a more inclusive and effective transition to a low-carbon maritime future.
These findings were unveiled in the Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub (LR MDH) report titled “Routes-based Action Plans: A Toolkit” launched at the Voyage to Net-Zero Forum, which was organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28/CMP8/CMA5) yesterday.
The report was developed following a workshop discussion that was held from 5 to 6 October 2023 in Singapore, with the participation of 40 stakeholders representing ports and National Administrations across Asia, based on the concept of the LR MDH’s First Movers Framework for green corridors. The workshop simulated the process steps of the routes-based action plan methodology, addressing the limitations in its application in the wider Asian context. Additional engagements with stakeholders from the Pacific are envisaged to further refine the methodology.
“One of the key findings in our report highlighted the varying pace of decarbonisation efforts across the Asian region and the need for regional coordination among governments to establish energy clusters that will serve both as demand centres and energy producing hubs” said Charles Haskell, Director at LR MDH.
The creation of energy producing hubs includes defining a strategy that brings together demand from different countries at different developmental stages across the region to build up investment cases for implementing energy infrastructure at scale, all the while taking into consideration the economic and social benefits for local communities.
The report also emphasised that routes-based action plans should be steered by national governments to give confidence to the industry’s infrastructure investment decisions, with development banks and regional funds needing to play a part to help tailor financing solutions to support infrastructure development.
“If we truly want to achieve a net-zero future where no one is left behind, we cannot focus only on existing first mover initiatives. We must also study locations where the energy infrastructure is still in its infancy”, added Charles Haskell.
Essential to driving the implementation of routes-based action plans, as highlighted in the report, is the pooling of resources and capacity building to develop the business case for building the necessary infrastructure for regional hubs that include Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This will require regional coordination and collaboration involving governments and all stakeholders across the maritime supply chain.
Mr. Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “As we steer toward a sustainable maritime future, fostering a collective and inclusive approach is imperative in the development of green corridors and the energy transition to decarbonise international shipping. The NextGEN Connect-GreenVoyage2050 collaboration emphasises the important role of regional energy hubs in enabling the inclusive adoption of clean marine fuels, particularly for LDCs and SIDSs. MPA looks forward to continuing its collaboration with IMO, Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway and LR MDH to pilot solutions to reduce GHG emissions from ships and drive innovative transformations in the maritime industry.”
Mr. Sveinung Oftedal, Chief Negotiator of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, said, “Separate routes for emission-free ferries and ships can play an essential role in stimulating early action to adopt zero or near-zero emission technologies and fuels, and hence are an important step towards decarbonising shipping. There is currently a significant volume of maritime traffic between Asian countries, and our workshop was a great forum to discuss opportunities the decarbonisation of maritime shipping can bring and how efforts can be linked to countries’ wider energy transition.”
Mr. Jose Matheickal, IMO Director of Partnerships and Projects, said, “Supporting developing countries, including SIDS and LDCs, in their efforts to implement the 2023 IMO Strategy on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships is imperative to the decarbonisation of the maritime sector. IMO is pleased to provide, through this collaboration, practical support around the development and subsequent implementation of National Action Plans and route-based actions in line with IMO’s MEPC RESOLUTION.366(79) that encourages Member States to undertake these voluntary actions to facilitate the achievement of greener shipping and reduced emissions.”
Download “Routes-based action Plans: a toolkit” here: https://www.lr.org/en/knowledge/research-reports/routes-based-action-plans/