The Port of Rotterdam Authority accelerates the reduction of its own carbon emissions

The Port of Rotterdam Authority will accelerate the reduction of its own carbon emissions. Today, most of the Port Authority’s CO2 is emitted by ships (patrol boats). CO2 is also emitted by the use of cars and buildings. It concerns 4,000 tons per year in total.
The Port Authority’s own carbon emissions are projected to be 75% lower in 2025 and 90% lower in 2030 than in 2019. Eventually, the Port Authority wants its operations to be completely emission-free. “We will reduce our own carbon emissions as quickly as possible, while fully offsetting what we still emit. So from that perspective, the Port Authority is already carbon neutral as we speak. Because our emissions will be lower and lower in the next few years, the required compensation will also decrease more and more,” says Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port Authority of Rotterdam.

Over the past year, the Port Authority has used so-called scientific targeting to calculate the amount of emissions reduction needed to pull its weight in keeping global warming below the 1.5 degree Celsius limit. . Scientific targeting is a way to translate the corporate Paris Climate Agreement into specific goals. With this method, the Port Authority should achieve a reduction of at least 46.2% by 2030 (compared to 2019). This seeming technically feasible, the Port Authority however opts for an accelerated reduction of its own emissions by 90% in 2030. To this end, the Port Authority will ensure that all its ships switch completely to biofuel in the short term, and it has the ambition that from 2025, new ships will be emission-free.

The Port Authority also wants to reduce carbon emissions in other areas. Emissions caused by its employees’ air travel are to be reduced by 70% in 2025 and 80% in 2030, through the reduction of aircraft and participation in a biokerosene program. Reduction targets have also been formulated for the missions assigned to Port Authority contractors. In this case, it is a reduction of about 45% by 2030 with the use of fuels (in particular dredging and earthmoving) and 20% for materials (construction). Huge amounts of steel are used in the construction of quay walls, for example. Since its production temporarily involves high carbon emissions, 20% in 2030 seems to be the maximum achievable level.

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Source: Port of Rotterdam

Reasons for the tightening of climate targets include recent climate studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” plans and the Glasgow Climate Summit where the target of a maximum temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius has been confirmed.

Industry and shipping

The Port Authority is also doing everything possible to reduce emissions in shipping and industry, although it cannot influence this directly. This approach is based on two studies by the German Institute in Wuppertal from 2017 and 2018 respectively on emissions from industry and shipping and transition pathways for both sectors.

For maritime transport in the port management area (which extends up to 60 km offshore), emissions are expected to be reduced by 20% in 2030. To achieve this, various developments are underway, such as the increased efficiency (by optimizing logistics processes), the application of shore power (so ships at berth can turn off their generators and plug in) and the bunkering of clean fuels (such as LNG, biofuels and methanol) by shipping.

This should be made possible by projects to capture and store CO2 under the floor of the North Sea (Porthos), the construction of hydrogen and waste heat pipes, and the attraction of innovative developments, such as the production green hydrogen and biofuels. All of these projects represent some 23 million tonnes of carbon reduction in the port and outside (through the use of biofuels produced there, for example). This represents 35% of the Dutch carbon reduction target for 2030.
Source: Port of Rotterdam

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