The impact of FuelEU Maritime on EU shipping

Transport & Environment (T&E) has published a study on the impact of FuelEU Maritime on EU shipping. The 55 pages report concludes that the current EU policies leave Europe dependent on fossil fuels beyond 2050. The study welcomes the political agreement on FuelEU Maritime (FEUM) for tackling the shippingʼs emissions problem “as the first global regulation to effectively mandate the industry to transition towards low carbon fuels across the next 30 years“.

But the report also states that “the ambition and scope of the regulation still leave huge room for improvement, and more needs to be done to put shipping on a Paris-compliant trajectory. Given the limited ambition of the GHG intensity reduction targets, FEUM green-lights a slow-motion  transition away from fossil fuels in shipping, with oil-based fuels and fossil gas still likely to make up the majority of fuel demand until 2045.

The analysis has led to seven recommendations as follows:

  1. Align the greenhouse gas intensity (GHG) targets of FuelEU Maritime with a 1.5°C-compliant emissions trajectory from the global Science-based-targets-initiative (SBTi).
  2. Set higher and additional RFNBO sub-targets to provide clarity to suppliers on sustainable e-fuels, and remove the option for ships to use any advanced biofuels in place of RFNBOs.
  3. Set stronger penalties for non-compliance, in order to discourage ʻpaying-to-complyʼ. 
  4. Expand the FuelEU Maritime to include cargo and passenger vessels under 5,000 GT, as well as offshore vessels and other non-cargo ships.
  5. Replace the LNG bunkering infrastructure mandate in AFIR with mandates for more sustainable fuels such as ammonia, methanol and hydrogen.
  6. Make the RFNBO supply target in RED III mandatory to provide a minimum floor for the supply of sustainable fuels in maritime ports across Europe.
  7. Implement mandatory energy efficiency requirements on European shipping to bring down total fuel demand for a smooth transition.

The report can be downloaded from the T&E website here, more background information is available from the news post here.