The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, in collaboration with Arup, have introduced the Sustainable First Movers Initiative Identification Tool, to help shipping stakeholders align investment decisions away from fossil fuels.
he tool, which is presented in a preliminary findings report, The Potential of Ports in Developing Sustainable First Movers Initiatives, scores a port’s potential to produce and bunker electrofuels while delivering local environmental and community benefits in alignment with the global temperature target of 1.5 degrees Celsius set by the Paris Agreement. The tool can be customized according to stakeholders’ needs and goals and is dependent on scenario desirability.
Furthermore, the tool can be used to identify port locations that are most suitable to develop Sustainable First Mover Initiatives (SFMIs). According to the report, driven by a port’s role as a transport and energy hub as well as home to large and diverse communities, SFMIs can play an important role in the journey towards an inclusive shipping transition.
SFMIs account for broader impacts on communities and the environment, truly ensuring that the transition is people centered. This means that communities affected by such initiatives can benefit from their implementation, rather than be put at risk, the report notes.
- Stakeholders interested in initiating a SFMI must consider the wider benefits of an inclusive representation of various types of ports and stakeholders, especially if located in Global South regions. The inclusion of these wider benefits can identify ports that may otherwise not be in the spotlight for this type of initiatives.
- Shipping’s decarbonisation does not happen in isolation and a wider range of potential impacts should be considered. Interested parties can use this tool to further explore the current region of interest (IndoPacific) or apply it to other areas.
- Financial institutions and governments can use this tool to better understand where to maximise impact of their investments and meet not only climate goals but also improve other environmental indicators together with well-being of local communities. The next phase of this project aims to create case studies for a deep dive into specific ports and explore further details in the assessment of the pre-defined criteria. This follow-up stage will be done in partnership with local stakeholders to ensure as realistic reflection of the ports conditions as possible.
The shift to electrofuel production can unlock investments and other socioeconomic and environmental benefits, particularly in Global South regions where conditions for production of electrofuels may be more favourable and cost-effective due to a potential surplus of renewable energy.
The report also finds that by identifying the most suitable locations for SFMIs and supporting their development, those regions can boost their economies while decarbonising their maritime, and possibly other sectors as well.