The port authority said that emissions need to fall by 95% by 2050 to ensure adherence to the Paris Climate Agreement. Rotterdam’s marine transport contributes 21.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year, that’s according to figures presented at the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s Energy in Transition Summit 2018. The summit revealed that marine and inland transport with Rotterdam as the destination or departure point causes CO2 emissions of about 25m tonnes annually. That means that emissions will need to fall by 95% by 2050 to ensure that the marine transport sector adheres to the Paris Climate Agreement.


Taking action

The port authority has asked the Netherlands’ government to create a coalition with northwest European countries so that a joint CO2 price can be brought in. At the Energy in Transition Summit 2018, Allard Castelein, the port body’s chief executive, called for a much greater price for CO2 as well as a new industrial policy for the Netherlands.


“A price in the range of €50 to €70 per tonne of CO2 will stimulate companies to invest in solutions that we really need in order to realise the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement,” he said. Mr.Castelein said that he did not back “a solo approach”, like the UK with its electricity production, and that as a transit country, the Netherlands was closely connected to its surrounding nations. “A northwest European coalition would guarantee a level playing field for the industry,” he commented.


Talking about a new national industrial policy, the chief executive said that for a government to change to a new energy system, it needed “an integral vision and a corresponding industrial policy for the new economy, the future industrial landscape and the type of research and development required to achieve that”. The Rotterdam/Moerdijk port industrial area is facing the task of decreasing CO2 by 20m tonnes a year as of 2030 — a drop of 49% in comparison with 1990 — but the Port of Rotterdam Authority believes this can be achieved as part of the Netherlands’ national Climate Agreement. Mr.Castelein noted that the body had started in plenty of time in the area and that it now had over 40 projects in its portfolio that support the energy transition.


The port authority is also bringing in a €5m incentive for “climate-friendly maritime shipping”, whereby vessel-owners and charterers experimenting with low or zero-carbon fuels supplied in Rotterdam will be supported. Additionally, the organisation is introducing a 100% discount for inland port charges when vessel-owners adhere to the Green Award Foundation’s Green Awards platinum certificate (by sailing on electricity or on fuel cells for at least half the time or for three hours a day) and use planning tool NextLogic (as soon as this is running).