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.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020 09:28

Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles for Road Freight: introductory guide to support the transition to zero emissions

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Smart Freight Centre launches a new guidance to support stakeholders with the transition to zero emissions, with support from the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO).

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 electric vehicles (LEFV) 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.

The Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles for Road Freight is an introductory guide to support the transition to zero emissions for different stakeholders who all have a role to play in this: freight transport operators (‘carriers’), freight transport buyers (‘shippers’), energy and infrastructure providers, vehicle and engine manufacturers (‘OEMs’) and policy makers. The aim is to create a common starting point for these stakeholders in order to make emission calculations more consistent and reliable, and to inform better and aligned decision-making regarding uptake of low emission fuels (natural gas, biofuels) and electric vehicles (electricity and hydrogen) for the road freight sector.

Key messages are:

Companies need to balance what they can do in the short term (e.g.biofuels and urban electric freight vehicles) with preparing for a full switch to electric/hydrogen for the entire trucking fleet.The true climate impact from fuels and vehicles can only be determined by calculating emissions from the full fuel/energy life cycle, or ‘well-to-wheel’ rather than fuel combustion only or ‘tank-to-wheel’.The total emissions of operation (TEO) should be considered alongside the total cost of operation (TCO) of electric freight vehicles so that companies can be assured that their investment makes economic and environmental sense.

"Knowing the right questions to ask is fundamental to good decision making, knowing which questions are the right ones is the tricky bit. The Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles for Road Freight introductory guide will to help operators and shippers understand the issues around the many low emission fuels that are coming onto the market. From simple definition of terms to total emission of ownership calculations, this guidance will help get the road freight sector on the right road to sustainability." - Colin Smith, co-author and Certification Manager of The Energy Saving Trust “New options for low emission fuels are being proposed and made available all the time.

As a next step beyond our initial Low Emission Fuels and Vehicles for Road Freight introductory guide, we intend to pull together the existing information about the emission performance of the most promising and widely available options. This will enable potential users to make informed decisions based on the latest credible evidence.” - Alan Lewis, co-author of the guide and Technical Development Director at Smart Freight Centre

Download the Executive Summary here.

Download the full guide here.

Photo credit: © Smart Freight Centre