Skip to main content

Steps towards fossil free shipping 

By 1.11.2023January 31st, 2024No Comments
Numerous climate records have been broken during 2023. We experienced the warmest September by far in the measurement history, both in Finland and globally. It also looks like the whole year will be record warm. Globally, the ice coverage has decreased to a record low. During the year we’ve experienced numerous record-breaking extreme weather phenomena such as exceptional torrential rains and floods. All this is due to the fact that atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations have continued to increase and are already starting to reach dangerous levels. Other crises have understandably received a lot of attention in the media but at the same time the worsening climate change has been covered too little. Day by day we are in a more hurry to reduce emissions.

Since its foundation, Meriaura has recognized the seriousness of global environmental problems and tried to promote emission reductions in shipping.  For years, we have pushed for the development of regulation in a way that would prioritize emission reductions. The technologies and the ways of operating of the global and traditional shipping industry are, however, developing too slowly. For economic reasons, it is not possible to implement strict local regulation in an internationally competitive industry, but instead the regulation must apply to the vast majority of operators.

A lot, however, can be done locally.  During 2023, Meriaura has been able to significantly increase the use of biofuel the company produces from recycled raw material. Years of work to develop the energy-efficient operation of ships, operationally as well as by investing and developing equipment, has also reduced fuel consumption. Even the smallest details are considered: during the last weeks divers have been cleaning the hulls of our ships. This is done to remove the marine growth attached to the ship and reduce the drag. From now on, we will in fact clean the hulls more frequently, because even a small decrease in consumption when repeated on a regular basis saves fuel and cuts emissions.

The regulation of shipping is something that individual shipping companies have very little influence over, so we hope that everyone else will also promote the fastest possible change towards completely fossil-free shipping. Technologies to replace fossil fuels exist, but they will not become widespread as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest and easiest source of power. Taking into account the concerning state of the climate, the timetable for the regulation of maritime emission reductions should be tightened. At Meriaura we do our part as well as possible; we develop and use technologies and fuels that reduce emissions. The EcoVoy contract we have developed also offers our clients an opportunity to reduce their emissions.

Esko Pettay
Sustainability Manager