Canadian shipping applauds “historic international CO2 reduction strategy”

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) fully supports the ambitious strategy adopted by the UN International Maritime Organization to reduce global marine shipping’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050.

“An international agreement on this scale is an important first step towards developing a global path to reducing the carbon footprint of shipping. Similar to the airline industry, marine shipping requires a coordinated global response that addresses the important issue of climate change—not a patchwork of regional measures,” said Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “Canadian ship operators look forward to working with the Canadian government to investigate carbon reduction technologies and practices that will help to inform the global pathway developed over the next few years. These are ambitious targets that will require governments to help facilitate the development and distribution of new carbon-zero fuels and technologies.”

Marine shipping is already the most carbon-efficient way to transport goods. One Great Lakes ship can carry as much cargo as 963 trucks. A study by Research and Traffic Group showed that rail and truck would emit significantly more greenhouse gas emissions per cargo metric ton/kilometer if these modes carried the same cargo the same distance as the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway fleet.

“Even with this significant environmental advantage, Canadian shipowners are committed to further environmental protection and have been trailblazers in tackling greenhouse gases through programs like Green Marine and adopting new technologies,” said Burrows.

“Canadian shipowners have spent more than C$2 billion during the past few years on new vessels and advanced technologies that significantly reduce fuel consumption and corresponding carbon emissions. The level of investment and innovation is really unprecedented,” he added. “There are already more than 26 new and revamped Canadian-flag ships sailing these waters and a further six coming in the next two years.”

New ships have been coming in every year as part of an extensive modernization of the Canadian fleets. CMC member Canada Steamship Lines currently has six eco-vessels in service in the Great Lakes/Seaway.

This week, CMC member Groupe Desgagnés christened the world’s first Polar Class, dual-fuel oil/chemical tanker that can be powered by different types of fuel including liquefied natural gas, which substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions along with 99.5 percent of sulphur oxide emissions. The Desgagnés team overcame a number of major challenges, including integrating the many innovations and new technologies on these vessels into its operations. It developed a maritime LNG distribution network, almost non-existent up to that point, trained a new class of qualified and certified sailors and created brand new training and certification programs. This achievement required collaboration with various business partners, including Energir, the Montreal Port Authority and Transport Canada.

CMC member Algoma Central Corporation has also welcomed two new ships in the past month, the Algoma Innovator and the Algoma Sault, both of which consume 45 percent less fuel per metric ton/kilometer resulting in significant carbon emission reductions. Further, Algoma has set a target of 25 percent GHG reduction by 2025 and is on track to meet that target. All of Algoma’s Equinox Class vessels are also equipped with exhaust gas scrubbers that remove 97 percent of sulphur oxide emissions.

Maritime Editorial