Blog: EU MRV - Will it deliver?

Ahead of our EU MRV seminar on 29th September, Poul Woodall, Director of Environment and Sustainability at DFDS, blogs about the regulation and its impact on businesses in implementation

That shipping has an environmental footprint is nothing new, nor the fact that a wave of legislation is coming our way with the noble intention of improving this.  With what can at times appear to be a totally uncoordinated effort from the IMO, EU and national authorities producing a tsunami of legal text aimed at reducing the environmental impact of shipping there is much that the industry needs to address.

One such initiative is the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation which originates from the European Commission. With the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport; it addresses the same issue as the IMO’s Data Collection System, as well as the Energy Efficiency Directive and a number of national look-a-likes.

Of course, with increasing concerns over the impact on the global climate of human activity it is clear that something has to be done. But one must ask if we are approaching this in a constructive way?

DFDS is currently working on five different ways of collecting CO2 data for our fleet of ships. We must produce four data sets for various authorities and then one which works at an operational level for the business. If we are to continue CO2 reduction efforts in an efficient manner then the figures collected must reflect the way we do business.

In the preamble of the EU MRV Regulation, it states that simply by collecting these data, a reduction of 2% of the vessels CO2 will be possible. A rough calculation tells me this is about four mill. tons CO2 p.a.  I hope there is a company out there that saves more than their 2%, because I cannot find mine just by introducing yet another system doing the same.

The point is, the intentions are good but the execution will lack impact.

Now we are stuck with having to do what we are told. Unfortunately, what we are told is mirrored on the ETS system for airlines. This system is already known to the EU and not least to their consultants, so a copycat system is therefore introduced for the maritime industry – logic to some perhaps.  That we have come to this point, is partly the industry’s own fault. We have embraced the GHG problem far too late and in a lacklustre manner.

The silver lining is that there are a lot more environmental issues that need to be tackled, so we as an industry still have the chance to prove that area we can be proactive in our collective approach.

Now let’s show them we can do just that.

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Anna Ziou

Policy Director

020 7417 2841 / 07850 916151