World Port Climate Action Programme to be extended

The Port of Rotterdam has announced that the World Port Climate Action Programme (WPCAP) will be extended with a new focus on shore power, new fuels and green shipping corridors.

Archive; Port of Rotterdam/Danny Cornelissen

The extension was agreed by the CEOs and leaders of 12 world ports at a meeting in Rotterdam on the occasion of the first five years of the programme. Members of WPCAP are the ports of Antwerp – Bruges, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Hamburg, HAROPA PORT (Le Havre – Rouen – Paris), Long Beach, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Rotterdam, Valencia, Vancouver and Yokohama.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam, commented: “The world has changed drastically in the past five years and climate is at the top of the international agenda today, including in the shipping industry. This is in part due to programmes like WPCAP, and we still have an important role to play. The industry still needs leadership by ports, and we need to prove now that we are part of the solution and can create momentum for real change.”

The Port of Rotterdam said that during the meeting the CEOs discussed the benefits of shore power and exchanged views on stimulating its further adoption, noting that terminals and shipping lines also have an important role to play in this.

It further noted that another focus area for WPCAP in the coming years is to facilitate the bunkering and adoption of cleaner fuels, adding that the ports have worked with the IAPH Clean Marine Fuels working group to create a Port Readiness Framework, a self-assessment and communications tool that allows various stakeholders to understand the different levels of research, development and deployment of new fuels at ports around the world. The tool is expected to be ready for voluntary use by ports towards the end of the year.

Namrata Nadkarni, Chair of the working group on sustainable marine fuels and Founder of maritime consultancy Intent Communications, said: “Given the urgency of the climate crisis and shipping’s commitments to reducing emissions in line with international regulations, we must take action now. It took almost nine years shipping to adopt LNG as a marine fuel. We cannot wait that long for the deployment of ammonia, methanol, hydrogen and other clean fuels.”

“Our Port Readiness Level is an ideal way for ports to assess their ability to host vessel calls or bunker individual fuels, communicate this with stakeholders and identify areas where more resources are needed to meet their alternative fuel and technology ambitions.”

The Port of Rotterdam noted that WPCAP will also focus on green corridor initiatives, which are seen as key to facilitate the deployment of fuels in practice, particularly on longer international shipping routes.

Heather Tomley, Managing Director of Planning and Environmental Affairs for the Port of Long Beach, California, US, stated: “There has been a lot of talk about the need to shift to new fuels in the industry and multiple green corridor initiatives have been announced to address this. Now it is time to put this into action and work together as ports to bring fuel suppliers and shippers on board so that we see the first sustainable vessels on these international routes within the next few years.”

To note, according to the Port of Rotterdam, WPCAP member ports are already part of five green corridor initiatives, spanning routes around the globe from Singapore and Shanghai to LA, Vancouver and Rotterdam, and WPCAP members agreed to set an example and enable the deployment of more low- and zero carbon vessels along these routes in the coming years.

During the meeting, the CEOs also called on regional coalitions of the willing to set standards and lead the way for the IMO and the international shipping industry to put in place regulation that will allow the sustainable development of the industry in a level playing field, the Port of Rotterdam said, noting that the need for a just transition was also emphasised in the discussion.

In regard to past achievements, the Port of Rotterdam said that WPCAP has contributed to the faster adoption of shore power at ports, helping to reduce emissions of CO2 and pollutants while ships are at berth.

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