What lies ahead for sustainable shipping regulations in 2024?

April 9, 2024
2 minutes
reading time

The shipping industry is responsible for nearly 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions, making a significant contribution to climate change. In response to this challenge, the industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation toward sustainability. Central to this shift are the initiatives outlined in the European Green Deal, a comprehensive strategy unveiled in 2019 with the ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality across the European Union by 2050.

Introducing the Green Deal and Fit-for-55

The European Green Deal sets out a multi-faceted approach to address climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental sustainability while promoting social equity and economic prosperity. Central to this is the transition to a circular economy, focusing on resource efficiency and decoupling economic growth from resource consumption.

A central part of the European Green Deal is the Fit for 55 package, approved by the European Commission in July 2021. Fit for 55 consists of 13 legislative proposals and aims to align EU policies with the higher climate ambitions set out in the European Climate Law. With a target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, the initiative underscores the EU's commitment to combating climate change.

Within the framework of Fit for 55, the maritime sector stands out as a key issue, subject to crucial legislation that defines its sustainable trajectory. Key directives include:

- Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)
- EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)
- Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)
- Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR)
- International Maritime Organization (IMO) Carbon Intensity Index (CII) Rating

Regulations impacting the maritime industry

These regulations introduce significant obligations and opportunities for importers and exporters within the shipping industry, forcing companies to assess and reduce their carbon footprint while encouraging investment in sustainable practices and technologies. From stringent emissions reporting requirements to the use of alternative fuels and the enhancement of energy efficiency measures, the regulatory landscape outlined in the "Fit for 55" package marks a shift toward a greener, more resilient maritime sector.

In this white paper, we delve into the finer points of navigating the sustainable shipping regulations outlined in the European Green Deal and Fit for 55. By exploring the implications of key directives such as the CSRD, EU ETS, CBAM, AFIR, and the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Carbon Intensity Index (CII) Rating, we aim to provide insights and guidance for importers and exporters looking to adapt to this changing regulatory landscape and embrace sustainability as a cornerstone of their strategic efforts.

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