Norwegian Minister gives full support to distillate fuel proposal

The Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, Dag Terje Andersen, stated this week:


"About two per cent of the total green house gas emissions originate from shipping. Although this is a small proportion of the total emissions from transportation, the shipping industry has to play its part in reducing CO2 emissions. It is important to find a practical solution on how to regulate Green House Gases in international shipping. Norway supports the work to explore alternative approaches, which is already underway in the IMO. Viable solutions must apply equally to all ships regardless of flag or register. Local pollutants, like NOx and sulphur emissions, represent a huge problem. Norway supports the INTERTANKO proposal of a global sulphur cap and the requirement to use distillate fuel for all ships."


His statement was made at a well-attended conference organised by the European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA) on "European Shipping: A global industry serving European and Global Trade". In the ensuing debate, the Minister referred to a visit he had made to the site of a bunker spill on the Norwegian west coast which, he said, had more than convinced him about the additional benefits of using distillates rather than heavy bunker oil. (Click here for a copy of Andersen's speech.)


European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot (responsible i.a. for shipping) underlined that the Commission is fully aware that the global nature of shipping calls for international regulation. But stable regulation does not mean a frozen situation, Barrot said. He referred to the need to attract young people to the shipping profession and said:


"I want Europe and Europe's industry to interact better and to play a much more active role to support the common efforts of the International Maritime Organization. All together we have an interest in promoting quality shipping through IMO. Let us stop using IMO as a "brake unit" and, let us pull our weight together. An appropriate representation of the European Union in the IMO will play in the interest of all quality minded operators in the world. It is for that reason that I ask you to re-evaluate the Commission's request for representation in IMO and see the benefits behind this proposal."


(During the ensuing debate, Fotis Karamitsos, elaborated on this point, and said that developments of internal EU rules meant that, in his view, the gentlemen's agreement of 1994 had become outdated and there was a strong need for a formalisation of the European Community's position at the IMO.)


Click here for a copy of Barrot's speech.


Other speakers included leading ECSA Board Members, as well as the German State Secretary responsible for Transport, the Maltese Communications Minister, and the Permanent Secretaries of the ministries responsible for shipping of Greece and Cyprus.


The speeches will be available shortly on ECSA's website:


Contact: Kristian R. Fuglesang