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EU finally reaches deal on FuelEU Maritime

The extensive regulation FuelEU Maritime was agreed upon in Brussels. The informal deal means that more and more green fuel must be mixed into marine fuels in the future.

The GHG-emissions from fuels used by ships must be gradually reduced towards 2050 – something that can only be solved by adding green fuel in ships’ fuel tanks.

Therefore, an increasing amount of green fuel must be included in the marine fuel mix in the future.

That is the essence of a new EU agreement on marine fuel, FuelEU Maritime, which is part of the overall climate plan in the EU, Fit for 55.

With the new agreement, ships within the EU must already from 2025 use two percent green fuel in the tanks. That proportion will slowly increase year by year before reaching 80 percent in 2050.

“First of all, it is vital that we now have an agreement on FuelEU Maritime. More than anything, the industry asks for clarity – also to create certainty for offtake for fuel suppliers. Today’s agreement on FuelEU Maritime will set the course for cutting green-house gas emissions from ships, increase the use of more renewable fuels, and support the maritime sector in contributing to the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050,” said Anne H. Steffensen, Director General and CEO in Danish Shipping.

In January, Danish Shipping together with 46 signatories called on decision-makers to encourage and reward first movers who choose new, more expensive e-fuels to comply with the regulation and thereby stimulate the demand for those fuels.

In practice, introducing a “multiplier” mechanism should encourage the right market behaviours. This request is included in the final agreement along with a requirement to mix in two percent e-fuel by 2034 if the industry has not already started using at least one percent e-fuel by 2030, which is of great importance to Danish Shipping:

“E-fuels are far from available in sufficient quantities and thus, it requires extensive planning to ensure sufficient supply when bunkering around the globe. Therefore, a mechanism is needed to incentivize the uptake and we are pleased that the multiplier mechanism is included in the final paper,” said Anne H. Steffensen.

The informal deal on sustainable maritime fuels rules still needs to be formally approved by the Council Committee of Permanent Representatives and Parliament’s Transport and Tourism Committee, and then the Parliament and Council as a whole.

Some of the highlights in the Fuel EU Maritime agreement are:

– Clear targets for the shipping industry calling EU ports – now that the industry knows what will be required from them, action can be taken.

– Gradual increase in targets, will allow the industry to adapt.

– Reward for first movers investing in new, expensive, e-fuels by introducing a multiplier.

– Clear signal to fuel producers and suppliers that new, green fuels are required, and that production and infrastructure can be scaled with much less risk than before.

– Ensuring a level playing-field by introducing a 2 % sub-target for e-fuels in 2034 if the uptake amount to less than 1 % in 2030

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