Barcelona Container Port Photo: Davies / CC-BY-SA

The Port of Barcelona is a participating incentive provider in the World Ports Climate Initiative's Environmental Ship Index.

Mitigation and moving towards low carbon waterborne transport infrastructure

All sectors must play their part in climate change mitigation. The waterborne transport infrastructure sector is no exception.

Port and waterway infrastructure and operations typically account for only a very small proportion of the total greenhouse gas emissions associated with the shipment of a particular consignment. The most significant proportion by far is associated with the sea voyage, and a varying amount with connecting transport.

It is nonetheless important that the owners, operators and users of waterborne transport infrastructure take steps to minimise the emissions associated with their activities if they are to contribute to the ‘less-than-2-degrees’ pathway.

The associations represented on the the Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership recognise the importance – and the urgency – of implementing effective mitigation measures and of moving towards low carbon infrastructure.

Coalition members further acknowledge the need for innovation alongside conventional emissions-reduction measures: for example initiatives aimed at improving integration to increase energy efficiency or at creating carbon sinks in coastal areas by Working with Nature.

As with other sectors, such innovation has the potential to bring associated social, employment and economic opportunities.

Thursday, 04 November 2021 13:40

Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles: Desktop Review and Decision Making Matrix Launch

Posted by

Amsterdam, 6 October 2021 - GLEC Program on Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles takes the first steps towards establishing new GHG emission factors for the various transition fuels and provides guidance on how to select the right solution for your organization.

More governments and companies are setting climate targets. The end goal is zero emission transport for all road transport, and in this transition phase, road freight transportation with low emission fuels or zero emission vehicles is an important part of an effective strategy in the transition to net-zero emissions. However, it is often unclear what ‘low’ or ‘zero’ emissions really means and what solution should be selected.

Our Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles program aims to assist shippers, LSPs and carriers on what LEFV solution to select for their application and market and how to report on those emissions. The work builds on the ‘Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles for Road Freight: Introductory guide’.

Today, we launch two new publications and a tool to assist organizations in adopting low and zero emission fuels in the road freight sector:

A desktop review of the GHG emission factors for various potential transition fuels, such as biofuels. The report is an initial step towards establishing more granular emission factors on the various transition fuels and is part of a wider effort to make GHG emission calculations of transition fuels more consistent and reliable.

A decision making matrix, which is a framework and associated tool designed to inform and guide organizations in understanding the emission reduction potential of the various transition fuels. The decision making matrix can act as a conversational tool to aid the decision making through the calculation of the Total Emissions of Ownership.

These insights conclude the second phase of the  Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles program, in which we presented and reviewed the various solutions available. In the next phase, we seek to work collaboratively in defining the wider sustainability criteria and establish a consultation program to define more granular emission factors for the various low and zero emission fuels for inclusion in the GLEC Framework.

Review of Emission Factors

The emission factors are highly dependent on the feedstock or electricity used for the production of the fuel. In the case of biofuels the distinction can be made between crop-based feedstock and waste-based feedstock to produce the fuel. For synfuels and efuels the carbon content of the electricity used largely determines the actual emission factors.This report provides a first indication of potential emission factors for calculating and reporting on the new fuels.Specific attention is warranted to (i) methane slip for gaseous fuels, (ii) the direct and indirect contribution to land use change for crop-based fuels, (iii) the LCA methodology adopted.

The Desktop Review is only an initial step towards understanding the emission factors for new fuels. Recommendations are made to carry out a further review and consultation of the emission factors, covering data gaps, market/technical readiness, review of methodologies and options for incorporation of land use change in the emission factor, identification and review of other sustainability criteria, and a review of certification mechanisms.

The report was supported by the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO, Dutch Enterprise Agency).

Decision Making Matrix

The LEFV Decision Making Matrix is developed in consultation and collaboration with members and partners of European Technology Platform – ALICE and the Global Logistics Emission Council (GLEC), led by Smart Freight Centre.

The Decision Making Matrix provides a structure and methodology to consider the applicability, availability and feasibility of each solution. By responding to 10 questions included in the tool, organizations are able to understand and develop their strategic direction towards switching energy sources. A guidance to help answer the 10 questions is provided within the tool to further evaluate the Total Emissions of Ownership of the various solutions.

The tool is a simplification of the results of the 10 questions and provides a framework on which the different solutions are evaluated:

1. Applicability: determines the potential technologies and fuels which are ready for you, based on global technologies.

2. Availability: the implementation of new technologies requires the vehicle and fuel infrastructure to be available in your market or location.

3. Feasibility: the implementation decision requires assessing the total cost of ownership and the total emissions of ownership.

Get in contact

If your company is interested in joining phase 3 of the project, please get in contact with us:

Rik Arends:   

Rocío Espinosa: