It is vital that costs do not threaten shipping routes or make certain older ships serving some port markets unviable. It is important that we get this right but at the same time remember that moving freight by sea is still by far the most environmentally-friendly way to facilitate global trade – as well as ensuring our economy continues to function and our food and energy supplies are secure. In comparison with other transport modes shipping is an efficient and environmentally sustainable option.

The 72nd session of IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), being held on 9-13 April, is expected to determine the initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

Some port-related measures are listed among the short-term support actions to achieve the objectives and include the provision shore-side/on-shore power supply from renewable sources, infrastructure to support supply of alternative low carbon and zero-carbon fuels as well as further optimisation of the logistic chain and its planning, including ports.

On ship to shore power, the costs of installing such infrastructure and requirements on the national and regional electricity grids could be substantial. As an industry we will continue to work with Government on the challenges and viability of this but the evidence suggests it is not a panacea. It is important that the wider issues are tackled by Government and industry collaborating and working towards clear goals with a foundation of firm evidence of what works.