Presented to the Chamber of Deputies, the study by RINA, Assarmatori, and Confitarma for the decarbonization of the maritime sector

At the Refectory Hall of the Chamber of Deputies, RINA, Assarmatori, and Confitarma publicly presented the document “From Today to 2050: Between Challenges and Opportunities for the Maritime Industry.” The study, encompassing insights from the Italian Committee of RINA for the decarbonization of the maritime industry, aims to outline the current state and potential solutions within the sector.

 

The dialogue among shipowners, shipyards, designers, technology suppliers, and fuel providers has allowed the Committee to identify a uniform international regulatory system and collaboration among industry players as the primary catalysts for reducing CO2 emissions.

 

The study highlights the necessity for clear international standards implemented consistently—including interpretative guidelines applied differen tly by flag administrations—investment in research and development, adequate infrastructures to make clean fuels and new technologies available, and continuous training to safely manage new fuels. Numerous technological solutions have been examined for both existing and future fleets, such as biofuels (usable either blended with conventional fuels or in pure form), carbon capture and storage (currently the sole technology capable of making fossil fuels compatible with short-term carbon dioxide reduction objectives), liquefied natural gas (which enables around a 20% reduction in CO2 compared to traditional fossil fuels), small modular reactors (SMRs), cold ironing, and operational interventions to reduce consumption.

 

The decarbonization process involves both new vessels, incorporating cutting-edge technologies, and existing ships—potentially undergoing significant transformations, including engine replacements—to gradually decrease emissions. It is hoped that lawmakers will allocate most of the proceeds from the application of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) to the maritime sector, alongside FuelEU Maritime and future economic measures implemented internationally, incentivizing investments in new ships, technologies, and clean fuels.

 

The presentation was delivered by Andrea Cogliolo, Senior Director of the Marine Excellence Center at RINA, and Salvatore d’Amico, Chairman of the RINA Decarbonization Committee, who emphasized the unity within the shipping world in this effort, demonstrating that “together, we navigate with even greater safety.”

 

Mariella Amoretti, President of Confitarma, stated, “The shipping sector is facing the challenge of balancing its vital role in global trade with the need to adopt more sustainable practices to effectively contribute to decarbonization. Shipowners are operating with responsibility and conviction, investing their own capital in studies and experiments. However, it is concerning that despite this and despite shipping being the least polluting mode of transportation per unit of goods transported, it will be included in the ETS system, leading to an inevitable increase in transportation costs to and from Union ports. The study we present today reveals that there is no single technological solution for achieving zero-emission shipping yet, and we must realistically focus on an energy mix that meets different needs depending on the type of vessel. The journey is long and complex, and the determination of shipowners alone is not sufficient. We trust that the Government will support national enterprises in this endeavor, following the example of other maritime countries, to preserve the competitiveness of the national maritime industry in international markets.”

 

Stefano Messina, President of Assarmatori, stated, “Maritime transport is at the forefront of the decarbonization process and intends to continue playing its part with utmost effort from various perspectives. The newest ships are equipped with the best available technology to reduce emissions, while older vessels have undergone refitting that significantly reduced their carbon footprint. Alongside this, in-depth and authoritative studies like the one we have presented today demonstrate the willingness to continue on this path, a common denominator for the Italian fleet. What emerges clearly is the need for uniform international regulations, as maritime transport is inherently international; conversely, regionally based rules risk being counterproductive. The credibility of the wide audience that has decided to delve into this document demonstrates the centrality of our industrial sector in the Italian economy.”

 

Ugo Salerno, Executive Chairman of RINA, stated, “Shipping is one of the most ‘hard to abate’ industrial sectors, and it is in the national, European, and international interest to reduce its emissions. The available technologies for the sector are diverse, as are the types of vessels and the needs of shipowners. However, effective and sustainable change can only occur if led by regulatory uniformity. The maritime industry and port infrastructures constitute a system that could represent a model in achieving decarbonization objectives.”

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