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Rotterdam calls for 80% emissions reduction

Joint appeal calls on the Dutch government to "shoulder its responsibilities".



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Updated on 13 Oct 2009 07:26 GMT

Rotterdam Port Authority and Friends of the Earth Netherlands have announced that they want the maritime shipping industry to drastically reduce its CO2 emissions to 30 percent by 2020 and close to 80 percent by 2050, compared to 1990.

The public appeal by the Port Authority and Friends of the Earth Netherlands comes only two months before the international environment conference due to be held in Copenhagen in December.

Cmmenting on the issue, Hans Smits, Rotterdam Port Authority CEO said “Shipping was not included in the Kyoto Protocol. But it is particularly important to make international agreements in a sector that is, by definition, international.”

Frank Köhler, director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands commented: “This sector is responsible worldwide for 3% of CO2 emissions, and this percentage will only increase further if no measures are taken.”

According to some scientists, an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 is necessary if global warming is to be restricted to 2º, the internationally accepted upper limit.

"Transport by water is more energy efficient than by land or air. In that sense, it is sustainable. Also, according to expectations, more and more goods will be transported by water in the coming decades. Hence, there is every reason to aim for a powerful reduction in CO2 in shipping," said the Port of Rotterdam in a statement.

The Port Authority and Friends of the Earth Netherlands said that they are calling on the Dutch government to "shoulder its responsibilities" in the run-up to the climate summit in Copenhagen.

The two organisations said they are asking the government to make every effort to strive for the aforementioned emission reduction targets in a new international climate treaty.

A number of port authorities, including the Port of Rotterdam Authority, have said that they are willing to cooperate in the introduction of an international agreement on CO2 reduction.

The Rotterdam Port Authority said this could involve making CO2 reduction part of an Environmental Ship Index (ESI). "This index is currently being developed in an international context to encourage the use of clean ships. This can be done, for example, by introducing price incentives into the port dues which ships pay when they visit ports. The Port of Rotterdam Authority plans to use this ESI to encourage shipowners to make their fleets more sustainable and to use cleaner fuels," Rotterdam Port Authority said.






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