The EU officially announced the world’s first green shipping fuels law. Ships will be required to increasingly switch to sustainable fuels and at least 2% of the bloc’s shipping fuels will need to come from e-fuels derived from renewable electricity by 2034, at the latest. While discussions continue at the International Maritime Organization, a global shipping regulator, Transport & Environment (T&E) believes that this signifies the start of the demise of polluting shipping fuels and hopes that other nations will take inspiration from the EU’s action.

According to T&E, the recently passed FuelEU Maritime law in the EU serves as a significant message to investors and fuel suppliers, encouraging them to initiate the production of eco-friendly shipping fuels. E-fuels are among the limited options available for the decarbonization of shipping since direct electrification is infeasible for numerous vessels. Nevertheless, T&E has cautioned that the existence of loopholes in the law may allow for the entry of low-carbon fuels and biofuels through the backdoor. As such, T&E has appealed to the EU to address these concerns when the law is reviewed in 2028.

The final agreement also includes stricter greenhouse gas intensity targets as well as a bonus for the use of green e-fuels until 2035 with the so called ‘multiplier of 2’. This should eventually make e-fuels more attractive to use from the entry into fuels of the regulation in the year 2025.

Delphine Gozillon, sustainable shipping officer at T&E, said: “Today’s decision marks the beginning of the end of dirty fuels in shipping. The EU is charting the way with the most ambitious package of green shipping laws ever adopted. This success should inspire other countries to do the same.”