The Port of Rotterdam has confirmed that the first World Ports Climate Action Programme (WPCAP) International Climate Congress will take place in May 2019, an event that will see major global hubs come together to make operations more environmentally friendly.
The eleven European and American ports affiliated with WPCAP are working on plans to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping and ports and improve air quality.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is currently Chair of WPCAP and has taken the initiative for this international Climate Congress.
WPCAP’s affiliated ports include Antwerp, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Le Havre, Barcelona, Gothenburg, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Vancouver, and New York & New Jersey.
The ports will take stock of what has been achieved and will share the results with interested ports, the shipping sector and authorities (port cities and national governments).
Agreements will then also need to be made about the follow-up.
The five WPCAP working groups are currently examining subjects such as effective turnaround time and the viability of using alternative fuels to load and unload ships.
By exchanging ideas, creating joint initiatives the participants hope to be able to make more tangible strides than they would have done by themselves.
Port of Rotterdam’s initiative to reduce CO2
The Port of Rotterdam has made considerable efforts to improve air quality and reduce CO2 emissions.
To that end, it aims to lead in the energy transition in terms of both industry and logistics.
Projects currently in motion are meant to make operations more sustainable and ultimately cut the Netherlands’ CO2 emission by as much as 25% by 2030.
A recent example of Rotterdam’s policies coming to fruition has seen it become the first port to bunker container ships with biofuel.
As well as that, it has an incentive scheme worth approximately USD$4 million to improve shipping sustainability. This also includes clean, low-CO2 vessels being given discounts on port dues.
The Port Authority has also developed a software, named ‘Pronto’, to advance shipping turnaround time efficiency, and this is now being used by various ports. This will reduce the port call time in the port, which in turn reduces emissions.
The Maasvlakte container terminals have electrified nearly all of their facilities. All berths are fitted with shore power for inland ships so that ships do not have to use generators when they are at the quay.
A trial will be held this autumn to test various shore power systems for sea-going shipping.
Calandkanaal is being prepared for another big shore power project. And inland shipping uses interchangeable battery systems to trial sailing. These are all concrete projects aimed at further improving air quality and reducing CO2 emissions by the Port Authority.