Japan and Norway step forward on Green Shipping

On December 10th, 2020, in Yokohama, a presentation was held to announce the establishment of the “Planning and Design Center for Greener Ships”. During the same week, Norway’s government published a white paper on green shipping for a smarter maritime future, which is used to determine where investment should be heading in Norway.

The Planning and Design Center for Greener Ships

The founding aim of Japan’s Planning and Design Center for Greener Ships is to contribute to the growth of Japan’s shipbuilding industry by developing advanced environmental performance-enhancing technologies that will respond to tightening of environmental regulations over the long term through consolidation of the country’s technologies in ship design, and by advancing commercialization of next-generation greener ships. 

In total of nine domestic shipbuilders, including Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, together with Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), have already joined or announced intent to join the Center. In addition, participation is sought among domestic companies involved in marine business, shipping companies, trading houses and other entities supporting the center’s aims. 

Initially, the center, representing Japan’s shipbuilding industry, will strive to prepare a detailed proposal on next-generation ships that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, in a quest to achieve the medium to long-range targets of the IMO.

The White Paper

Norway’s white paper also covers the environmental impact and potential mitigating policies for other sectors outside of maritime, showing how they all interlinked. It provides government with suggestions of policies that would enable Norway to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.

It is believed that Norway’s government will confirm these policies in 2021 and that other governments worldwide will follow Norway’s lead and include more environmental policies and strategies to reduce emissions in their recovery plans.

Under the instruction of the Ministry of Climate and Environment, a Green Shipping Programme was produced to establish a service office to assist both shipowners and charterers to find green solutions.

“Shipowners should expect the transition to green shipping will increase the cost and complexity of vessels,” said Norwegian Maritime Authority project manager for innovation and new technology Kolbjørn Berge. “There will be a focus on lowering emissions and sustainable shipping from consumers and charterers. Beyond 2025, there will be significantly stricter requirements. Before ordering a newbuild, address this opportunity to be best in class​. Either ask us for assistance or the Green Shipping Programme’s service office.”

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