Frequently Asked Questions
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When will recommendations be published?
We expect to publish our recommendations in 2023.
Who are the partners?
Maran Gas, MSC, Carnival Corporation & Plc, Lloyd’s Register, Safetytech Accelerator, Seaspan, Shell, Knutsen Group joined in September 2022. In March 2023 we announced new partners including CoolCo, United Overseas Management, Capital Gas, Celsius Tankers, Global Meridian Holdings, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and TMS Cardiff Gas. The latest joiners are MiQ, a methane measurement certification company, NYK Line and MISC as of September 2023.
Will all partners be required to report their methane emissions?
The initiative aims to explore and endorse technology solutions and transparency mechanisms that can be commercially viable across the industry. There will be no requirement for members of the initiative to embrace these measures – as their existing instruments may be more sophisticated than those proposed by the Methane Abatement in Maritime Innovation initiative for wider industry-use.
Isn’t this too little, too late?
- The issue of methane emissions from ships is well known with a great deal achieved already. One internal combustion engine manufacturer states that methane slip from their engines has reduced by 85% since 1993.
- Developing practical and impactful recommendations which are market led, will require careful consultation. Recent T&E analysis shows that over two thirds of new ships ordered could be powered by LNG by 2025. We need to recognise it’s now being used and understand how we can make it as clean as possible, as quickly as possible.
- The shipping industry does not have to wait for our recommendations to start taking steps to reduce the methane emissions of its operations. Members of the alliance have also agreed to share best practices and lessons learned, with a view to taking immediate action to reduce the methane emissions of their fleets.
- As you’ll see from the group of partners behind the initiative, the solution isn’t hoarding information, it’s about sharing best practice across the supply chain for the betterment of the sector.
Even if you find a way to abate methane emissions, LNG still emits huge amounts of CO2. So what’s the point?
- This isn’t about further entrenching LNG’s use – it’s about recognising it’s now being used as a transition fuel and understanding how we can make it as clean as possible as quickly as possible because it the cleanest available fuel at scale and until zero carbon fuel emerge.
- LNG could be a viable step along the transition pathway to bio or synthetic LNG, as the latter’s production process captures carbon and therefore the bio-LNG value chain potentially generates negative carbon emissions.
- However, this does not account for the methane slip of burning the bio or synthetic LNG. To understand if that transition pathway is viable, we must understand how much methane is being emitted from ships and if it is possible to abate it.
- We believe that through reliable monitoring on the basis of scientific evidence and application of best practices we could deliver a substantial reduction of methane emissions today. We aim to facilitate technology development that will entirely address and possibly eliminate methane emissions tomorrow.
- Our vision is to attain methane free maritime and bunkering supply chains and operations.
What makes this initiative different from other lobby organisations in this space?
- Our aim is to provide evidence from combined experience ‘on the ground’ to help deploy technology that can accurately measure methane on ships.
- This isn’t about promises or commitments, it’s about finding a way to measure the methane problem. Then finding a way to address it.
What is methane’s impact on climate change?
- Studies have shown that methane is the primary contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone, a hazardous air pollutant and greenhouse gas, exposure to which causes 1 million premature deaths every year. Methane is also a powerful greenhouse gas. more potent at warming than carbon dioxide.
- According to a recent study, cuts to CO2 alone will not achieve the reductions needed to stay within 1.5°C of pre-industrial temperatures. But cutting methane and other “short-lived climate pollutants” (SLCPs) such as black carbon would reduce the global heating effect in the near term, thus giving the world “a fighting chance” of staving off climate catastrophe, the scientists said.
- Methane warming effect is as much as30 times that of C02 over a 100-year period, although it quickly degrades in the atmosphere.
What steps have the anchor partners already taken to reduce the methane emissions of their ships?
- All of the alliance’s anchor partners have taken steps and introduced technology to reduce methane slip (including low methane emissions ICE designs, , methane slip monitoring equipment, prevention and recirculation technologies).
- The creation of the alliance therefore provides an opportunity for members to share their learnings and best practices in order to scale-up the impact of their innovation.
Is the methane strategy likely to include a target date for Europe’s maritime industry to no longer emit methane?
- One of the key contributions of this project will be to assess and define what could be a pragmatic target for a maritime methane strategy. The next step would be to identify the investment and optimum effort required to achieve this.
Is it possible for the maritime industry to emit ‘zero methane’?
- Yes, once a suitable alternative fuel becomes commercially available and scalable. In the meantime, it is critical to do what we can immediately to reduce emissions of methane to as close to zero for LNG as a fuel as possible.
- We are willing to look at data that supports this claim, but the reality is that the extent of the problem is currently unknown.
- We believe that better information will allow the maritime industry to better understand the extent to which its LNG-fuelled ships are emitting methane.
How much methane does Europe’s LNG industry currently emit per year?
- We cannot provide the exact figures, but it is important to note that in accordance with the EU methane strategy, the gas sector only accounts for 13% of methane emissions while shipping’s contribution is expected to be below 1% of total methane emissions.
Would the Group support dedicated quotas and incentives for e-fuels?
- Such a question falls out of the scope of this initiative.
Would the Group support potential policy action for all members of the industry to mandatorily disclose their methane emissions?
- We believe that transparent monitoring, reporting and verification of methane emissions, can only benefit the sector.
- Methane’s hidden risk will only increase investment risk and pose greater difficulty in greening the LNG sector. In this context regulatory action in transparency and emissions disclosure is welcome.
What is meant by a ‘smart methane strategy’
- By a ‘smart methane strategy’ we mean a well-balanced roadmap and a blend of actions with immediate savings where this is feasible today and focus on technology development where existing solutions cannot yet produce the envisaged results. This will also explicitly comprise awareness on existing proven technologies, justifying any CAPEX gaps, greater focus on credible monitoring and transparency, in depth understanding of the problem and its magnitude.
In terms of roadmap, we understand the short term ambitions but is there any more detail that can be supplied on the medium to longer term?
- Once we have a fully understood and developed a scientifically based problem statement for methane emissions in the LNG fuel supply chain we will develop a technology roadmap to solve high priority issues. This will enable shipping companies, technology investors and entrepreneurs to focus on key technologies and create an ecosystem of technology providers all focused on measuring, monitoring and mitigating methane emissions. While this is focused on the LNG as a shipping fuel supply chain, we expect the technology to be able to tackle methane emissions to spread across more industries.