The growing concern about environmental emissions has alarmed the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) and pushed them to take necessary measures to control it quickly. Maritime shipping is one of the most profitable commercial sectors owing to a significant amount of transportation of goods internationally each year. The ships on their voyage emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, impacting the environment. IMO curated EEXI and CII regulations to minimise the impact of shipping on the environment. Let us learn more about these regulations and how they help reduce shipping emissions.
Hazards of shipping emissions
The maritime industry has thousands of ships sailing overseas daily for international trade. Shipping is also a contributing factor to climatic change since it releases harmful emissions due to the combustion of the shipping fuel. All ships sailing locally or internationally are responsible for releasing significant toxic substances into the air. These toxic releases vary between nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, particulate matter, and greenhouse gases. All these elements are incredibly harmful to the environment and deplete the air quality of coastal areas and nearby vicinities. The rate of emissions caused by one ship has the potential to degrade the air, and the maritime industry breeds thousands of such ships. The harmful gases released during shipping activities can cause human life, flora, and fauna fatalities.
Apart from air pollution, ships also generate water and sound pollution that harms marine life. All these factors are contributing to overall global warming. The increase in the rate of global warming is alarming and poses a threat to the world. The concerned authorities and governments are joining to minimise shipping emissions and promote a green revolution in the maritime industry.
IMO’s strategies to dissolve the GHG emissions
The climate change caused by global warming is a triggering issue that is being highlighted by significant industries in the supply chain. The International Maritime Organisation is doing its part by taking matters into its own hands to minimise the rate of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions released by in-service ships that travel long distances across the sea daily. These shipping emissions were causing a considerable impact on the environment and increasing the need for control and strict measures to contain the GHGs. IMO’s meeting in June 2022 announced amendments to the MARPOL-Annex VI by introducing EEXI and CII regulations (Energy Efficiency eXisting Ship Index and Carbon Intensity Indicator) to enter into effect from January 2003. Annex VI of the MARPOL treaty addressed the requirements of cargo ships in preventing air pollution and was implemented by the United Nations.
The amendment by IMO urged its member nations to collaborate and contribute towards the green revolution. They ensure adherence to the regulatory standards. The EEXI regulation requires a thorough check of all ships to secure an EEXI value. This value indicates the efficiency of the ship’s energy resources based on the fuel consumption by the engines. In contrast, the CII regulation records ships’ Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) by measuring yearly carbon emissions. Both these regulations were unanimously laid out for ships to comply with and follow strictly to minimise GHG emissions by a significant value.
What are EEXI regulations?
It is an acronym for Energy Efficiency eXisting Ship Index and allows operators to measure the value of shipping emissions their vessels produce. EEXI is a regulation devised by the IMO that acts as a parameter to measure a ship’s in-service energy efficiency. It is based on the technical design of a vessel and is a one-time standardised certification that every ship needs to get to be deemed fit for sailing. The EEXI value of the vessel is calculated by recording the fuel consumption first. This data is collected by powering the ship’s main engine and auxiliary engine. It is followed by recording the amount of CO2 produced by engines. The attained EEXI value must not exceed the base value and should be equal to or less than the base value. When the value is higher, vessels must adopt various other ways to comply with IMO’s EEXI regulations. These vessels must fit energy-saving devices or implement countermeasures like engine and shaft power limitations. The EEXI value of ships may vary from one type of containership to another, the tonnage of cargo it carries, its propulsion method and speed.
EEXI value<= Base value
What are CII regulations?
It is an acronym for Carbon Intensity Indicator and provides a rating system that allows operators to grade the value of carbon emissions produced by vessels. It measures the operational efficiency of commercial ships and drives them towards becoming more energy efficient. CII regulations are measures implemented by the IMO to control the rate of GHG emissions to combat air pollution and minimise global warming. Under this regulation, the CII of ships will be recorded to track the consistent decrease in carbon emissions and continuous improvement in carbon intensity to reach a certain level. It is an annual assessment with stricter regulations and limits imposed every year. This yearly reduction factor needs to yield a decreasing operational CII value to fit the green shipping standards. It is measured by recording the grams of CO2 emitted per nautical mile and cargo tonnage. The grading will be done in terms of A, B, C, D, and E; any ship receiving a ‘D’ grade for three subsequent years or having an ‘E’ rating will have to take corrective measures. The goal is to decarbonise the maritime industry and minimise the global impact of emissions on climate change.
How do these new measures work?
EEXI measures a vessel’s energy efficiency against a reference value by looking into the carbon emissions produced by ships that are equal to or above 4000 gross tonnage. It takes place only once in the ship’s life, and the certificate is applicable throughout its lifespan. In comparison, the CII rating takes place annually and is tracked for its reduction throughout consecutive years. The emissions measure is calculated not just during the ship’s voyage but also during its anchorage and stays at ports.
Both these measures were implemented by the IMO to bring a revolution in the shipping industry and to promote green shipping. According to these regulations, if the vessels fail to comply with the EEXI and CII values consistently, they will be stripped of the authority to operate on international waters. Through these regulatory measures, the IMO aspires to achieve a reduction of 40% in global emissions by 2030 and a 70% reduction by 2070 compared to the global emission rate in 2008.
What is EEDI?
The Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) focuses on reducing shipping emissions while constructing the ship. It encourages manufacturers to use more energy-efficient equipment and engines. It applies to the newly designed ships to ensure they are improvised with energy efficiency. Manufacturers must match or exceed the EEDI value set by the IMO to be acceptable for commercial shipping. The EEDI registers the value of grams of CO2 emissions caused per tonne-mile by the commercial vessel. The ship manufacturers are using cutting-edge technology to design energy-efficient commercial vessels to meet the EEDI requirements of IMO.
Measures to reduce carbon emissions during shipping
- Following guidelines– The IMO is showing great concern for the rising rate of global warming. By implementing EEXI and CII regulations, authorities are taking a step forward. Manufacturers and shipping companies must adhere to these standards to ensure environmentally friendly shipping.
- Slow sailings– An efficient way of significantly reducing shipping emissions is to adopt slow steaming, reducing fuel consumption—lesser consumption of fuel amounts to a minimised GHG emission level.
- Using renewable resources– Fuels derived from petroleum lay heat on the environment and must be replaced by alternative fuels for containerships. Hydrogen, natural gas, biofuels, and LPG are a few derivatives that can replace petroleum to power ship engines and reduce the impact of maritime shipping on the environment.
- Optimising shipping routes– The port authorities are responsible for efficiently distributing sea traffic to port congestion and waiting vessels at anchorage for berthing. The engines of ships in line for unloading at ports are still on and consume fuel to release emissions without purpose. Sea routes are optimised to divert traffic flow equally on all routes to avoid such instances.
By taking these measures, in addition to following the EEXI and CII regulations, shipping companies and manufacturers will be able to control the rate of shipping emissions by 2050.
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