Financial incentives to support the transition to sustainability within the maritime industry

The Swedish shipping industry has demonstrated in projects, such as the demonstration platform Zero Vision Tool, various technical opportunities and solutions to meet-a broad range of sustainability challenges. 

There are still unexplored solutions and existing techniques can be developed further. However, a  significant challenge is that large-scale commercial utilisation is not in demand until legislative requirements are in force and the market is free. Hence, development of new techniques is a financial risk for shipowners and ports, who carry the initial investment costs, as well as for technology suppliers. Consequently, users  wanting to be at the forefront end up carrying the immense costs of development. Some technologies are also reliant on a surrounding system or infrastructure to be introduced on a large scale.

To date, knowledge needed to correctly evaluate any socioeconomic benefits and costs from shipping, and the gap between societal and business profitability is lacking for several fuels and technologies. An evaluation of alternatives based on current knowledge of the effects on  businesses and society can be made before developing a structure for incentive. Examples of tools include indices as a means to measure and to communicate sustainability performance, differentiated fairway- and port fees, allowances and loans for “green investments”, bonus-malus systems and trading with emission rights from a wider perspective.

Important areas:

  • Socioeconomic calculations highlighting benefits and costs of freighttransport and of shipping for a wider use and implementation.
  • How different types of incentives can support step-by-step management control measures to facilitate faster and continuous transition towards sustainable shipping.