European Green Deal: Agreement reached on cutting maritime transport emissions by promoting sustainable fuels for shipping

March 24, 2023

Thursday 23 March 2023, co-legislators agreed on FuelEU Maritime – a new EU regulation ensuring that the greenhouse gas intensity of fuels used by the shipping sector will gradually decrease over time, by 2% in 2025 to as much as 80% by 2050.

This measure will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector by promoting the use of cleaner fuels and energy. [source: European Commission]

FuelEU Maritime will help decarbonise the maritime transport sector by setting maximum limits on the yearly greenhouse gas intensity of the energy used by a ship. The targets cover not only CO2, but also methane and nitrous oxide emissions over the full lifecycle of the fuels.

The new rules also introduce an additional zero-emission requirement at berth, mandating the use of on-shore power supply (OPS) or alternative zero-emission technologies in ports by passenger ships and containerships, with a view to mitigating air pollution emissions in ports, which are often close to densely populated areas.

FuelEU Maritime takes a goal-based and technology-neutral approach, allowing for innovation and the development of new fuel technologies to meet future needs, and offering operators the freedom to decide which to use based on ship-specific or operation-specific profiles.

The Regulation also provides for a voluntary pooling mechanism. Under this scheme, ships will be allowed to pool their compliance balance with one or more other ships. Thus, it will be the pool as a whole that has to meet the greenhouse gas intensity limits on average.