The Dutch bank ING and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced a serious boost towards greening the shipping industry.
Each institution has decided to contribute €150 million to support projects with a “green innovation element” in Europe’s maritime sector.
The money will be made available for new ships or to retrofit existing vessels so that they reduce less emissions and are more fuel efficient. The EIB stated that the funds will be implemented gradually over the next three years.
It’s estimated that maritime transport contributes 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but that this could be greatly reduced by implementing existing, cost-effective technologies.
The EIB’s President, Werner Hoyer, commented: “I think it’s no secret that the shipping sector is a major contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. Climate action is one of the EIB’s top priorities, and this type of financing should be seen as an incentive for ship owners to consider doing things differently”
“The facility was set up after numerous discussions with Dutch counterparts from the public and private sector and aims to help the shipping sector transition to a greener future”, he added.
The investment represents a significant opportunity for the shipping industry to accelerate its transition to a low-carbon economy. So far, the sector has lagged behind in reducing its carbon emissions and in promoting sustainable practices. There have been recent signs of change though; earlier this month two Japanese companies announced a partnership to test using solar power on ships. China also launched its first electric cargo vessel late last year, able to carry 2,200 tonnes on each haul.
Isabel Fernandez, Head of Wholesale Banking at ING, added: “Sustainability is an important strategic priority for ING and we are very proud to partner with the EIB to encourage our shipping clients to think about more green and sustainable financing options. This agreement helps us support our shipping clients into making changes to their business models by adapting for the future in increasingly sustainable way, and supports them throughout their green journey”.
Photo: Axel Ahoi
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