The Norwegian government has produced a comprehensive action plan for maritime emissions reduction and green shipping in Norway.
In a report detailing its plan for Norway green shipping, the government notes that maritime transport is arguably the most energy efficient form of transport, particularly for moving freight; and that a shift from road-based freight transport to seagoing vessels would reduce both road traffic – resulting in lowered emissions from vehicles – and, in reducing the demand placed on vehicles, lowering the amount of microplastics which occur as a byproduct of tyre wear and which predominantly end up in the ocean. The government has therefore committed to a target of transitioning 30% of goods transported over more than 300km in Norway from being transported by road to using rail and seagoing transport; resulting in a projected reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector of around 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent between 2021 and 2030.
With more of Norway’s transport needs set to be met by the maritime sector, the government has detailed its aims to implement green shipping policy; and has set a further target of halving the emissions produced by Norwegian domestic shipping and fishing vessels by 2030. The Norwegian Environment Agency has been asked to partner with the Norwegian Maritime Authority to deliver a review into the potential environmental benefits of biofuels in shipping.
In the introduction to its green shipping action plan, the Norwegian government says: ‘The government wishes Norway to make full use of the opportunities arising from the greening of the economy. Norway will have to undertake a challenging process of fundamental transformation to meet its emission reduction commitments. The labour market will have to be green, smart and innovative. Norway must find cost effective ways of carrying out the transformation process and at the same time ensure that it provides growth opportunities for the Norwegian economy and boosts Norwegian exports of green solutions. Renewal of the Norwegian shipping sector will be an important driver of this process. Norway’s maritime industry is a world leader in the development of low- and zero-emission solutions, and there are competitive companies in all segments of the industry.’