The debate still goes on about the shipping ecological transition and the part done by the protagonists of the sector for the path towards enviromental sustainability.

During the annual “Assarmatori” meeting, the President, Stefano Messina, talked again about the shippers’ position, not hiding some perplexity: “We are demostrating our preparedness, as shippers, to adjust fleet, in order to achieve the objectives about reducing the emissions established by IMO and European Union. But we are facing a lack of technologic solutions and available and sustainable alternative fuels, and also the related distribution networks in ports”. 

Just as a reminder, shipper has underlined on more occasions the efforts made towards the decarbonisation of maritime transport, starting from the $ 5 billion fund intended to cover the technological innovation needed to reduce emissions.

The risk of a poorly studied ecological transition

The problem is that the sector is not technologically ready to embrace the change. Not yet. According to Messina, in fact, the impulse given by Bruxelles through IMO new rules and the pack “it for 55”could have the opposite effect on the sector, producing a lot of problems, such as the increased costs of maritime connections with the islands, the need to lower the speed of boats, with the consequent reduction of service offer and a loss of ports competitiveness.

A problem confirmed even in Achille Onorato’s words, Moby CEO, who, during the meeting, underlined the risk of going towards an “unsustainable sustainability”.  Despite the request of green investements for the sector, today, he affirms, there isn’t a technology that allows a complete sea-change on fuels used by marine vessels. A cold ironing without green fuels risks to make ships uncompetitive, slowing the decarbonisation path.

Minister Giovannini’s response

About that even the Minister for Infrastructure and sustainable Mobility, Enrico Giovannini, has spoken, repeating the need to define a clear and unambiguous path to not waste the funding for the ecological transition of maritime transport. The minister has in fact recognized that the State couldn’t fund every solution, so it will be appropriate to carry out precise and balanced analysis, in order to optimize time and funds.

While waiting to understand what will be the path that the shipping ecological transition will take, the minister has reaffirmed that, “we have to push on the refitting of actual means, so that they will pollute less. An aim that we want to follow thanks to the 500 millions of euro allocated in the PNRR supplementary fund and that will obtain other resources even in the future, in order to carry on this path even after 2027”.