• 2021 May 12 15:49

    Finnish Government adopts resolution to reduce emissions from maritime and inland waterway transport

    (Photo: TonyMak79 / Shutterstock)
    Image source: Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland
    On 6 May 2021, the Government adopted a resolution confirming national measures and priorities for exerting influence internationally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime and inland waterway transport. The resolution draws on the work on the Roadmap for fossil-free transport.

    In addition, the Government adopted a resolution on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from domestic transport, i.e., the Roadmap for fossil-free transport, and a resolution on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from air traffic.

    The Government resolution proposes a number of measures to facilitate the transition to alternative fuels and propulsion technologies in maritime transport and to support energy-efficiency improvements in existing vessels and the development of new, low-emission vessels. In addition, the resolution highlights the importance of actively exerting influence internationally to reduce emissions from maritime transport, as the greatest impact on international maritime sector can be achieved by global measures.

    Finland is committed to both the EU’s emission reduction targets and the targets of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for reducing emissions from maritime transport. In the coming years, IMO intends to decide on global market-based measures, which aim to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions caused by international marine transport by at least 50 per cent by 2050 compared to the 2008 level. The aim is to fully phase out greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

    Finland’s maritime and inland waterway transport, or water transport, accounts for about four per cent of all emissions from domestic transport. Most of the water transport emissions come from maritime transport. There is no one way to achieve the emission reduction targets for water transport; instead, we need a series of interlinked measures that often make progress at different rates in the negotiations between intergovernmental organisations. Therefore, national decision-making on emission reduction measures in maritime and inland waterway transport must take account of a number of factors, such as current market trends in alternative marine fuels and the state of play in international negotiations within the IMO and the EU.

    “This is the first time we in Finland outline emission reduction targets for water transport. We must focus on the whole package. In addition to renewing our fleet and improving the energy efficiency of existing vessels, we must address the overall operation of water transport systems to reduce emissions from vessels at sea and in harbour,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

    The measures outlined in the resolution are grouped based on their purpose as follows: transition to alternative propulsion technologies and fuels, improving the energy efficiency of existing vessels, managing water transport, and exerting influence on international decisions on emission reduction measures. Other emission reduction measures outlined in the resolution cover boating, ferry services and inland waterway transport.

    Progress in implementing the Government resolution will be monitored every six months by the Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy and at regular intervals by the steering group on maritime policy, appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office and by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

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