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The Port Authority Rotterdam aims for a CO2 neutral industrial cluster by 2050. Source: DigiClicks, E+, Getty Images

Dear readers,

On 6th April, a working group of the UN's International Maritime Organization (IMO) released an interim strategy, which calls on international shipping to reduce total annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels by at least 50 per cent by 2050.

This also applies to the Port of Rotterdam, the busiest and largest container port in Europe. Today, Rotterdam’s Port stretches over 40 kilometres to the North Sea coast. It also hosts one of Europe’s biggest petrochemical clusters. But how can greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by at least half?
This was analysed by the Wuppertal Institute on behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority in the recently completed study "Deep Decarbonisation Pathways for Transport and Logistics Related to the Port of Rotterdam". The researchers presented their results in Rotterdam at the beginning of April. They found that the port region could in fact be decarbonised by 2050. Moreover, in the study project "PoR Transport", researchers identified the effects of a drastic decarbonisation on transport and logistics and made recommendations to avoid greenhouse gas emissions in the future.
The solution: In the coming decades liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biofuels can help shape the transition. "But the ultimate goal can only be achieved with electrification and hydrogen and the use of synthetic fuels such as methanol," says Prof. Dr. Stefan Lechtenböhmer, Director of the Division Future Energy and Mobility Structures at the Wuppertal Institute. The final paper of the study will be published soon – including all details.

In 2015, the CO2 emissions of the port's industrial cluster amounted to around 30 million tonnes, which made up 18 per cent of the Netherlands' total emissions. The previous research project "Decarbonization Pathways for the Port of Rotterdam" by the Wuppertal Institute has mapped out, which transition pathways Rotterdam's industrial sector can follow to drastically cut back its CO2 emissions in the coming decades. "By investing into new technologies such as water electrolysis and gasification or pyrolysis to capture carbon from waste, as well as into technologies for the production of base chemicals from syngas, it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 98 per cent," summarises Sascha Samadi, project Co-ordinator and Research Fellow in the Division Future Energy and Mobility Structures at the Wuppertal Institute, the study's findings.

Let's continue to work on decarbonising the ports all over the world!
Christin Hasken & Anna Riesenweber

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Editor: Christin Hasken
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