Smooth Sailing for Ships After Historic Fuel Switch

Smooth Sailing for Ships After Historic Fuel Switch

January 14, 2020–wsj.com

A major switch in maritime fuel aimed at reducing emissions from ships is proceeding smoothly, shipping executives say, with new blends available in most ports and operators reporting few problems adapting to the fuel. The mandatory change began on Jan. 1, when some 60,000 oceangoing vessels were ordered by the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations’ marine regulator, to slash their sulfur emissions by more than 80%. It is the first in a series of environmental steps the maritime industry is due to take in the coming years that will alter operating costs and raise fundamental questions about how ships should be powered. To comply with the 2016 Paris climate accord, members of the IMO have also agreed to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to half of their 2008 level by 2050. Ships now contribute up to 3% of the world’s global air pollution, a share comparable to that of a major country.

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