Titus Zheng |

Classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has lent its support for the COP21 agreement in cutting down greenhouse gas emissions. 

Speaking at the India Pavilion during the recent United Nations Climate Conference in Paris, Arun Sharma, chairman and managing director for IRClass stressed the need to utilise the most cost-efficient and low-carbon emission sea mode in transport cargoes. 

In his opinion, shipping remains the most energy-efficient mode of transport, carrying almost 90% of the world trade yet only accounts 2.2% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore for him, shipping cargoes cannot be replaced completely by road and rail transport. 

“There is a need to choose the most efficient mode for long haul, while relatively shorter first mile and last mile connectivity can be accomplished via other modes,” said Sharma. 

Listing India as an example, where majority of the cargo movement within the country is done via roads, followed by rail. Sharma suggested the use of inland waterways and the need of coastal shipping to bring down the carbon footprint significantly in India. 

“The mitigation measures available to reduce the emission levels are technical and operational,” explained Sharma. 

“While technical measures have significant potential for emission reduction requiring initial investment, the operational measures can have an immediate emission reduction, but in incremental measures,” he said. 

Sharma highlighted that India can learn from the Marco Polo Project in Europe where a fund was created to grant financial support to companies in using greener transport modes to ease road congestion and pollution. 

For instance, since its inception in 2003, the Marco Polo programme has financed 200 projects between the 2003–2012 period, addressing 720 companies which almost half of them are small- and medium-sized enterprises. By the end of 2012, it was estimated that the programme has shifted 4 million trucks to sea and inland waterways transportation, avoiding a virtual traffic queue of 64,000 kilometers. 

“The great degree of success through the ‘Marco Polo Project’ in Europe which can be replicated and adapted to Indian conditions,” concluded Sharma. 


- Source: http://fairplay.ihs.com/safety-regulation/article/4258476/indian-class-society-supports-cop21-in-reducing-carbon-footprint#sthash.KG95tSOd.dpuf