A report carried out by the International Transport Forum (ITF) says Sweden is at the forefront of decarbonisation of maritime transport; however, more work is needed if the country is to achieve its goal of zero-carbon shipping by 2050.
The report found the Swedish shipping industry has been ‘very active in decarbonising shipping’, and highlighted several innovative green vessel projects.
‘Stena Line runs a ferry on methanol; Sirius Shipping has developed a ship-to-ship LNG bunkering vessel; numerous Swedish shipping companies - such as Terntank, Erik Thun and Rederi Gotland – have pioneered services with LNG-propelled vessels; and both HH Ferries and Green City Ferries have introduced electric ships,’ the report said.
Despite these positive developments, the report determined that more is needed if the sector wants to achieve its goal of zero-carbon shipping by 2050.
‘The major challenge is how to upscale current initiatives and obtain more finance and policy support, both nationally and globally.’
Accordingly, the report suggested that the Swedish government could upscale financial tools and incentives to decarbonise maritime transport.
‘Notably, it could facilitate a green ship financing instrument. It could also include decarbonisation in the mission of the state-owned shipping bank Skeppshypothek. A CO2 Fund for shipping could also be developed, analogous to Norway’s NOx Fund. The government could also make the taxation system more favourable to decarbonising shipping, including in relation to electricity taxation.’
It was also recommended that the Swedish government bring its shipping-related policies in line with its ambitious climate targets.
‘For instance, it could introduce decarbonisation as a criterion in government procurement of shipping services, for example to remote islands and for urban public transport. It could also reconsider the recent fairway dues reform in order to increase incentives for green shipping and support platforms such as Zero Vision Tool to encourage stakeholder co-operation.
‘Finally, it could stimulate an optimisation of supply chains, e.g. by better demand/supply matching via freight data from the Swedish Transport Administration.’
The Swedish government was also recommended to do more to disseminate the country’s practices in the decarbonisation of maritime transport on a more global level.
‘For instance, Sweden could help improve supply chain efficiency by pushing for more vessel sharing through the use of HELCOM data. Sweden could also showcase national best practices internationally and submit proposals to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that would help Swedish ship owners to de-carbonise. It could also focus on stimulating outcome-driven regulation at the IMO level, similar to the approach that has delivered some of the achievements in Sweden.
‘Finally, Sweden could push for a simplification of European Investment Bank (EIB) procedures for EU loans for low-carbon shipping.’