OPINION “We take this very seriously” must be among the most overused platitudes of government and corporate PR machines – how does it apply to GHG emissions?

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

With carbon taxes and concern over climate change once again in the limelight, I thought it might be opportune to update an article that was published in Canadian Sailings in November of 2017.

Scientists and green supporters have explained to us during the past decade or so that global temperature increases must be kept well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, if we wish to avoid the more egregious consequences of climate change. Accordingly, the 2015 Paris Agreement requires that signatories to the Agreement implement programmes to reduce national carbon emissions to levels that are thought to result in global temperatures to be kept in check, and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”, compared to the 0.9°C temperature rise that has taken place since 1870. (more…)

Electra Meccanica making its mark in the North American electric car market

By R. Bruce Striegler

According to Jerry Kroll, CEO of Vancouver-based Electra Meccania, it all began in Italy in 1959, where Frank Reisner built custom sports cars. In 1975 the company relocated to California where it built replica cars, such as the Porsche 356 Speedster and Checker taxis. In 1982, the company moved to Vancouver, and in 2012, Kroll and the son of Frank Reisner began work on what would become the company’s first electric vehicle. In 2017, nearly 200,000 electric cars were sold in the U.S., representing less than two per cent of the total 17 million vehicles sold over a year. In Canada, that market has risen from 5,300 vehicles in 2014 to over 34,000 in 2018. The acceptance of electric vehicles has been expanding rapidly due to government subsidies, their increased range and lower battery costs, and environmental sensitivity. However, the stock of plug-in electric cars represented just about one out of every 250 motor vehicles on the world’s roads by December 2018. (more…)

Port of Trois Rivières commits $2.5 million for environmental protection and innovation

As part of its On Course for 2030 objectives, Trois-Rivières Port Authority (TRPA) has established two investment funds totalling $2.5 million over five years.

TRPA’s Environment Fund aims to support users’ investments in solutions that will improve the Port’s environmental performance. Through this initiative, TRPA wishes to support the implementation of projects, and enable them to be carried out earlier. Shippers no longer choose a port solely on the basis of its productivity, but also judge on the basis of its environmental performance. Environmental protection and economic development go hand in hand!,” explains Gaétan Boivin, the Port’s President and CEO. (more…)

2020 sulphur fuel cap may spark a crisis for carriers that can’t recover the cost

By Sam Whelan, Asia correspondent

IMO’s 0.5 per cent sulphur fuel cap will cause an “existential crisis” for container carriers, unless they can pass on the added bunker costs to shippers. APL Chief Executive Nicolas Sartini said carriers had little choice but to opt for considerably more expensive low-sulphur fuel from January 2020, since the alternatives – using LNG or fitting ships with scrubbers – were not viable short-term solutions. “We are 100 per cent behind the regulation as it’s good for the environment,” he told delegates at the TPM Asia conference in Shenzhen in early October. “The problem is the new fuel cost is between $250 and $350 per tonne more expensive than the fuel we buy today.” (more…)

Speed limits for box ships the best way to hit emissions target, IMO told

By Alexander Whiteman

Mandatory speed limits could be shipping lines’ best hope of achieving the IMO’s 2030 emissions reduction targets. Shipping officer for lobby group Transport & Environment, Faig Abbasov, told The Loadstar slow-steaming could “single-handedly” achieve the target. “We’re proposing mandatory limits, based on ship type,” said Mr. Abbasov, speaking on the sidelines of the Marine and Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73) in London. “Furthermore, our slow-steaming initiative is based on an annual average rather than per individual journey, meaning priority shipments could travel at a faster rate.” (more…)

Pessimism in the air as IMO pushes for reduced greenhouse gas emissions

By Alexander Whiteman

The momentum behind efforts to curtail shipping’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions appears to have come to a standstill, insiders have said as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73) met in London at the end of October. Environmental lobbyists had hoped that plans to reduce GHG emissions by 2023 would begin in earnest now. IMO secretary general Kitack Lim said MEPC had approved a programme of follow-up action to the initial strategy agreed in April. “The programme sets a clear signal on how to further progress the matter of reduction of GHG emissions from ships up to 2023,” said Mr. Lim. “I am convinced, in re-doubling your efforts and with support from working arrangements, you’ll be able to deliver and accelerate the pace of actions and tackle this immense, global challenge.” (more…)