The report Navigating Towards Cleaner Maritime Shipping - Lessons From the Nordic Region published today by the International Transport Forum focuses on the Nordic countries' path to fossil-free and cleaner shipping. How can the sector meet energy and environmental policy goals, how can air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions be reduced? New technology, possible solutions and their status in development are described. The different countries' action plans, technical and financial obstacles as well as regulations are also analyzed.
So what does the result say? Well, all in all, the Nordic countries are pioneering and taking the lead in reducing the environmental impact of shipping, which makes the report relevant around the globe. When research and innovation are discussed, the Swedish Transport Administration is mentioned as the Swedish main funder (with a research budget of 100 million per year until 2022), while Lighthouse takes its place as the Swedish collaboration platform for research and innovation in the maritime sector. The platform’s operation which is based on Triple helix collaboration between industry, academia and government are described in some detail. Lighthouse's involvement in the EU's technology platform Waterborne is mentioned, for example, as is the initiative taken to create a Swedish national agenda for maritime research and innovation.
Even if the Nordic countries are at the forefront, the report points out that it is important that the pace of development and innovation is accelerated further. A number of recommendations are therefore given. Among other things, it is proposed that stricter international rules on energy efficiency are introduced for both existing and new vessels, that electrification of short sea shipping and the provision of shore power supply be further stimulated, that international rules on life cycle emissions of marine fuels are introduced and that more pilot projects testing new fuels are started.