• India
  • May 23

Explainer - What is green shipping?

The ministry of ports, shipping and waterways (MoPSW) announced that it will provide 30 per cent financial support for the promotion of green shipping and a single-window portal will be developed to facilitate and monitor river and sea cruises.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal made the announcements, focusing on green shipping and digitisation of the ports, at the end of the ministry’s second ‘chintan shivir’ held in Munnar, Kerala.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector

• Greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector are significant, increasing, and on a trajectory that is incompatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

• The international maritime sector is currently responsible for almost 3 per cent of global emissions. 

• Shipping sector would be the eighth largest emitter if it were a “country,” and by 2050, emissions from the sector are projected to increase by up to 50 per cent from 2018 levels under a business-as-usual scenario. 

• Achieving zero emissions from maritime transportation over the coming years and decades will require research, development, demonstration, and deployment at a massive scale, as well as enabling policies that incentivise the shift to low- and zero-emission fuels and technologies as soon as possible.

• Adoption of these fuels and technologies, while limited in the short term, will rapidly accelerate once the supply chain is established and governments and the shipping sector signal their intent for energy transition.

• ‘Green shipping corridors’ are specific maritime routes decarbonised from end to end, including both land-side infrastructure and vessels.

• Setting up such routes involves using zero-emission fuel or energy, putting in place refuelling or recharging infrastructure at ports, and deploying zero-emission capable vessels to demonstrate cleaner, more environmentally-friendly shipping on a given route. 

• Green shipping corridors can spur early and rapid adoption of fuels and technologies that, on a lifecycle basis, deliver low and zero-emissions across the maritime sector, placing the sector on a pathway to full decarbonization.  

• There is a growing movement of countries and non-state actors that are focused on green shipping corridors. In addition, private sector actors, including major users of maritime shipping, are increasingly making climate commitments and seeking opportunities to decarbonize their supply chains. 

• Green shipping corridors will not achieve zero emissions across all aspects of the corridor overnight.  Instead, the journey to establish a fully decarbonized corridor is a series of steps and actions taken over time to cover all aspects of the route.

Govt initiatives for promoting green shipping

• Earlier in March this year, the country’s first National Centre of Excellence in Green Port and Shipping (NCoEGPS) was inaugurated at TERI’s field station in Gwal Pahari, Gurugram.

• NCoEGPS is a collaboration between the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways (MoPSW) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

• With the green transition of Indian ports critical to align the sector’s growth to India’s sustainable development commitments, the NCoEGPS is expected to play a vital part in greening the shipping industry by steering it towards carbon neutrality and circular economy. 

• The NCoEGPS will be involved in developing the regulatory framework and alternate technology adoption roadmap for green shipping in India. 

• NCoEGPS will be the “single-point contact” for the ministry in matters relating to green port, green shipping, and green vessels and will be pivotal in evolving solutions in terms of policy, research, and technology that will enable the greening of the sector. 

• The ministry plans to launch green hybrid tugs to be used in the ports and scale it up to 50 per cent by 2030. 

• India intends to increase the share of renewable energy to 60 per cent of the total power demand of each of its major ports from a present share of less than 10 per cent. The ports also aim to reduce carbon emission per tonne of cargo handled by 30 per cent by 2030.

• India has been selected under Green Voyage 2050 Project for conduct of a pilot project related to green shipping. The Green Voyage 2050 Project is a partnership project between the government of Norway and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) launched in May 2019 aiming to transform the shipping industry towards a lower carbon future.

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